Lies, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations from Boris Johnson to Keir Starmer

“Business and commuter traffic on the trains is now down by 50% post-pandemic”

Mark Harper, Transport Secretary, GB News Interview

Facts

Transport Secretary Mark Harper told GB News that “business and commuter traffic on the trains is now down by 50% post-pandemic.”

As Full Fact notes, a comparison between train travel in 2019 and 2022 shows Harper was largely within his right to say that business trips are down by 50% – they have indeed decreased by 48%.

However, commuter travel only fell by roughly 42%.

Verdict

As Transport Secretary, Mark Harper has a duty to provide the public with precise and accurate information, not misleading generalisations.

We emailed Mark Harper’s office offering him the chance to respond. The email was received, but no reply. 

Sloppy Reporting by GB News

GB News posted on X that “train travel is down by 50%.” Harper was talking about business and commuter travel. As Full Fact notes, overall train travel in 2022 was only 27% lower than in 2019. At the time of writing [02/02/24], the misleading X post is still online. 

GB News twisted and amplified Harper’s already sloppy statistic to tell a different story.  

We emailed the GB News Press Office offering them the chance to respond. We received no response.

Published 28 Jun 2024
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