Boris Johnson and Other Tory Liars

Angela Channing

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16. Investing In The UK's Infrastructure

Today at Prime Minister's Questions Boris Johnson claimed his government will invest £100 billion in infrastructure improvements including £34 billion more in the NHS and £14 billion more in schools. He was lying. The money going to schools isn't "more" money but investment previously announced in August 2019 and the £34bn for the NHS was first promised in 2018 and once inflation is taken into account the figure is closer to £20bn.
 
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17. Sharing Covid-19 Data With Local Authorities

Again at Prime Minister's Questions today, Boris Johnson said all data on Coronavirus test results have been shared with local authorities. "Both pillar 1 (hospital tests) and pillar 2 (private lab tests) data have been shared with not just Leicester but with all authorities across the country". This was a blatant lie. Since PMQs, mayors and leaders of local authorities have confirmed they have not been given accurate information of all test results, just the limited results of tests carried out by hospitals. A doctor leading the Covid-19 response in Leicester said the government provided "no numbers nor demographic data sharing to help plan our response".
 
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18. Northern Ireland Customs Border

Boris Johnson promised that there would be no checks on goods travelling from the mainland Britain and Northern Ireland after the UK left the European Union. Everyone was incredulous about this at the time but now we know he was lying. Leaked government documents show that hauliers travelling between the mainland Britain and Northern Ireland will be forced to complete three sets of forms which cover customs, security and transit.

First details emerge of system for checks on goods crossing Irish Sea
 
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19. A Brexit Deal

At the last general election Boris Johnson told voters he had a Brexit deal and it was "oven ready". He was lying. There is no "oven ready" deal and he admitted as much today when he said "I think there's a good agreement to be reached".
 
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20. Care Home Covid-19 Deaths

Today, when asked why 20,000 Britons had died of Covid-19 in care home Boris Johnson said "too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedures in the way that they could have". This was no only a shameless attempt to shift the blame from his own policy failures to care home workers who risked their lives caring for vulnerable people, it was also a lie. The truth is that care home followed the guidance that the government gave them but they were forced to accept patients from hospitals who hadn't been tested for Covid-19 and they weren’t given proper personal protective equipment that the government had promised them.
 
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21. Covid-19 Testing Data

Some weeks ago the government stop publishing data showing how many people were being tested each day for Covid-19. They stopped revealing the data when it was consistently showing they were failing to reach the 100,000 a day target they had set. The reason they gave was that they needed to make sure the data were compliant with the guidelines set by the government's statistics watchdog and they would make the figures available as soon as possible. However, the Tory government was lying and yesterday they said they would no longer publish this data.
 
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22. Asymptomatic Covid-19 Transmission

Today at Prime Minister's Questions, Boris Johnson said "nobody knew" about asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 to justify his shameful handling of the spread of the coronavirus in care homes. He was lying. Government scientists in the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) produced a report in January which stated they knew about the potential asymptomatic transmission. In February, Matt Hancock the health secretary answered questions on asymptomatic transmission and on 22nd April he said "The scientific evidence on asymptomatic transmission does show that asymptomatic transmission occurs. That is one of the very significant challenges that this virus presents". On 6th March Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer told a Parliamentary Committee: "There may well be a lot of people who are infected and have no symptoms who we can't currently identify".
 

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23. Supporting The Arts

Earlier this week the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak said "We’re introducing a world-leading £1.57 billion rescue package to help cultural, arts and heritage institutions weather the impact of coronavirus". He was lying. It's not "world-leading" but significantly less than what other countries are doing. The French government for example are supporting their arts sector with €7 billion and acted much faster. In the UK lots of theatres and other arts venues have closed and jobs have been lost before the Chancellor thought to do anything.
 

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24. Covid-19 Testing Speeds

On 3rd June 2020, Boris Johnson said "We already turn around 90% of tests within 48 hours. The tests conducted at the 199 testing centres, as well as the mobile test centres, are all done within 24 hours". This was a brazen lie. Today it was confirmed that when he said this, just 19% of tests at regional testing sites and 5% of tests at mobile test centres were done within 24 hours.
 

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25. Cumulative Total of People Tested For Covid-19

At the daily coronavirus briefings the government used to inform everyone how many people were tested for Covid-19 to date. On the 21st May, Matt Hancock stated that a total of 2 million people had been tested but he was lying. The government refused to release a more detailed breakdown of the figures but Sky News persisted until the government had to relent and today they reveal the true figure was 1.8 million. So the government were deliberately overstating the number tested by 10% and then tried to cover up their dishonesty by withholding the figures.
 

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26. Test and Trace

Today at Prime Minister's Questions, Boris Johnson claimed this about his government's test and trace system: "our system is as good or better" than any in the world, and it finds "80% of the contacts". This was a lie. In reality, it only found 70.8% of contacts last week, and only for the quarter of new cases that were identified.
 

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27. Plan For Jobs

Last the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak told Parliament that he was allocating £30 billion to fund new infrastructure projects to create new jobs and prosperity. This was a lie. Figures now published by the Office of Budget Responsibility show the additional £5.5bn of capital spending he claimed to be providing is in fact an increase of zero and is just a reallocation of money from set of projects to another. The £2bn extra for the green homes grant and half the £400 million for traineeships Sunak will fund from cuts from elsewhere. Overall, the total extra money in the package is nearer to £10-12bn rather than £30bn that he claimed. Rather than being straight with the British people about the government's financial plans, he lied to exaggerate the level of investment.
 

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28. The Timing of the Covid-19 Lockdown

Boris Johnson and his entire cabinet have claimed they followed the science regarding when it implement the lockdown. They have been lying. Today, the Chief Scientific Officer, Patrick Vallance told the Commons Select Committee that on 16th March SAGE advised the Tory government to implement all lockdown measures "as soon as possible" because data showed that Covid-19 cases were doubling every 3 days. The government ignored this warning and the full lockdown wasn't implemented for an further 7 days on 23rd March. Had the government followed the advice of SAGE they could have prevented 20,000 deaths, according to government modelling.
 
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29. Illegal Migration

Yesterday, the Home Secretary Priti Patel told MPs that French authorities do not intercept migrant boats at sea. This was a barefaced lie. Last year, French authorities intercepted 1,235 migrants attempting to cross the English Channel but she perferred to lie to shift the blame on the French government to hide her own failures to manage this issue.
 

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30. Supply of Personal Protective Equipment

Today at the Downing Street Press briefing Boris Johnson said "We have substantially increased the pipeline of PPE for the NHS constituting over 30 billion items of PPE over the course of the pandemic". This was a blatant lie. The reality is that Government figures show that only 2.3 billion items have been delivered, up to 12 July and this figure includes 1.4 billion gloves which are counted individually as opposed to in pairs.
 

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31. Following The Science

Boris Johnson has repeatedly claimed he has been following the science with respect to decisions he has made to manage the Covid-19 crisis. However, this is a lie. Recently he has said people should stop working from home and go back to their workplace where possible. This contradicts the Chief Scientific Officer, Patrick Vallance who said people should "keep working from home. Johnson also said there will be "no lockdowns in the future" but Patrick Vallance said future lockdowns were "very likely". Johnson also said Covid-19 would be dealt with "by Christmas" whereas Patrick Vallance said it is likely that Covid-19 will be "with us for years".
 

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32. UK Child Poverty

Boris Johnson has repeatedly claimed that the number of families or children in poverty had fallen by 400,000 since 2010. He has said this in TV interviews and in Parliament. However, he is lying. Following a complaint by the End Child Poverty Coalition, the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) has today agreed that the prime minister had repeatedly used official poverty data "selectively, inaccurately and, ultimately, misleadingly". End Child Poverty have commented that "It is deeply insulting to the children and families swept into poverty, when data about them is used selectively and misleadingly at the whim of politicians. The simple fact is that by any measures child poverty is rising, but instead of tackling the problem, the government risks obscuring the issue and misinforming the public.".
 

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33. Care Homes

Both Boris Johnson and the Health Secretary Matt Hancock claimed they put a "protective ring" around care home from the start of the Covid-19 crisis but they were lying. Yesterday, a report by MPs from all parties concluded that the government approach was “slow, inconsistent and at times negligent”.

They also said the government's decision to discharge around 25,000 patients from NHS hospitals into care homes without first testing them was “an appalling error” in the initial weeks of the outbreak. “Our care homes were effectively thrown to the wolves, and the virus has ravaged some of them”, they concluded.
 
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34. Covid-19 Deaths

Yesterday Boris Johnson claimed the UK's response to dealing with the Covid-19 crisis was a “massive success” in respect to reducing the number of fatalities. However, either he was lying or he is completely delusional. On the same day the Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed that the had UK had the longest period of above-average deaths and overall had highest death rates in Europe so far this year. If that's a success, I'd hate to see what a disaster looks like.

 

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35. Ability of School Pupils To Spread Covid-19

On Sunday, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said “The latest research... makes it clear there is little evidence that the virus is transmitted at school” so there was little risk from government plans to reopen schools in September. He was lying. The research by Public Health England, published in The Times newspaper today, in fact shows that secondary school pupils are just as likely to spread Covid-19 as adults.
 
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