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19th Jan 2022

Five False claims made by Boris Johnson during Prime Minister’s Questions

Ava Evans

Amid mounting pressure to resign, the Prime Minister inflated a few untruths

Boris Johnson was under attack from all sides of the House of Commons at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, and used a much-practiced manoeuvre to deflect blame.

He made stuff up.

Facing the prospect of a no-confidence vote, the PM made a series of false claims during his exchange with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in a bid to deflect blow after blow.

1) The Conservative party won Bury South in 2019 for the ‘first time in generations’ under this Prime Minister

Johnson claimed he was responsible for winning the 2019 Bury South from Labour for the “first time in generations”.

The constituency was only created in 1983 and was Tory until 1997.

2) The Tories have cut crime by 10% and hired 11,000 more police officers

Between 2010 and 2018, the Tories closed 600 police stations across England and Wales. Similarly, officer numbers fell by more than 20,000 between 2009 and 2018 as part of austerity cuts.

Johnson may have hired 11,000 police officers, but it’s more of a “restoration” project than making new additions.

3) ‘We are building 40 new hospitals’

Johnson has repeatedly promised “40 more hospitals” throughout his premiership, but the Department of Health corrected this claim in August 2021. While £3.7 billion has been set aside, this programme is mainly an expansion or improvement of existing hospitals.

The department said there was a variety of expansion schemes, but instructed the media they “must always be referred to as a new hospital”.

4) ‘Youth unemployment is at a record low’

The most recent data for youth unemployment (aged 18-24) stands at 9.8%. In August 2018, it was 9.6%.

5) ‘We have the fastest-growing economy in the G7’

If you look at the change over the most recent 12 months of data, this is true. But looking at growth over the last quarter of data (Q2 to Q3 2021), the UK is fifth.

Data from Q4 is not currently available.

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