Lies, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations from Boris Johnson to Keir Starmer

“… 7.8 million people are currently on the [NHS] waiting lists”

Sir Keir Starmer, Labour Leader, Prime Minister’s Questions


During Prime Minister’s Questions in November 2023, Labour leader Keir Starmer said that there are “… 7.8 million people are currently on the [NHS] waiting lists.”

However, according to NHS England’s own data for September 2023, the number of “unique patients” waiting for treatment was actually 6.5 million

The 7.8 million figure used by Starmer is actually the number of treatment pathways waiting to start. This figure is misleading as one patient can be awaiting multiple treatments. 


Starmer was misleading MPs. At the time of writing [21/06/24] Starmer has not corrected this figure.

According to the Ministerial Code: “It is of paramount importance that Ministers give accurate and truthful information to Parliament, correcting any inadvertent error at the earliest opportunity. Ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament will be expected to offer their resignation to the Prime Minister.”

We emailed Sir Keir Starmer’s office and Labour offering them the chance to respond. We received no response.

Published 28 Jun 2024
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