Lies, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations from Boris Johnson to Rishi Sunak

‎Did you see the five promises I made to you last week? Halving inflation. Growing the economy. Reducing debt. Cutting NHS waiting lists. Stopping the boats. No ifs. No buts. Together, we will deliver.

Conservative Party Email


The above message was sent by the Conservative Party in the wake of Rishi Sunak’s “five pledges” speech two days earlier. By then the Sunak speech had been pared to short, bald statements. We publish a photograph of it below. 

Conservative Party Email Image 

Take for example the following passage: “Stopping the boats. No ifs. No buts.”

An average voter could only assume reading this example of Tory Central Office literature that the British Prime Minister was making a pledge to stop the boats coming across the channel. 

In fact Mr Sunak Mr Sunak was making a pledge to pass laws to stop small boats rather than stop the boats themselves: a rather different thing. This becomes clear from study of  the small print of his actual speech which stated that “we will pass new laws to stop small boats, making sure that if you come to this country illegally, you are detained and swiftly removed.” 

 A different problem surrounded Sunak’s “reducing debt” claim. Gross national debt stood at £2,436.7 billion(2.4 trillion) at the end of June 2022. According to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) it is set to rise to £2.6 trillion in 2022-23, and continue to rise to £3 trillion in 2027-28. In his speech Rishi Sunak proceeded to give a little more detail, saying that “we will make sure our national debt is falling so that we can secure the future of public services.” 

The best gloss on what Mr Sunak appears to be saying he is talking about the deficit and not the debt. Debt is the total amount borrowed whereas the deficit is the amount added to the total debt within a single year if the Government is spending more than it is making. According to the OBR the predicted 2022-23 deficit is £177 billion. The deficit is then predicted to fall to £69.2 billion in 2027-28. 

Even with a reduction to the deficit the Government is still adding to the overall debt, it is just a reduction to the speed at which the overall debt is increasing. 


Rishi Sunak’s five promises to the British people were profoundly misleading. 

We emailed the Conservative Party offering them the chance to respond. As of writing we are yet to hear a response.

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