Lies, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations from Boris Johnson to Keir Starmer

“If you look at parts of Tower Hamlets … there are no-go areas. Parts of Birmingham, Sparkhill, there are no-go areas”

Paul Scully MP, BBC Radio London

Facts

During an interview on BBC Radio London, London MP Paul Scully said “If you look at parts of Tower Hamlets … there are no-go areas. Parts of Birmingham, Sparkhill, there are no-go areas”

The Conservative Mayor of Birmingham, Andy Street, hit back: “The idea that Birmingham has a ‘no-go’ zone is news to me, and I suspect the good people of Sparkhill. It really is time for those in Westminster to stop the nonsense slurs and experience the real world.”

Scully subsequently said: “If I’ve spoken mistakenly or created division, then I apologise, but there are a handful of people who will always seek offence and there are people who come in behind that.”

Verdict

Scully’s statement was entirely untrue. There are no ‘no-go areas’ in British cities. His apology was partial.

We emailed Paul Scully’s parliamentary office offering him the chance to respond. We thank Mr Scully for taking the time to read our analysis and we publish his response in full, below: 

“you have wilfully misrepresented what I meant when talking about ‘no-go areas’. As I have said on a number of subsequent occasions I was referring about places where people choose not to go (rather than not physically be able to go) because of misplaced fear based on headlines generated by the actions of a few. I’m afraid your take on this to suit the premise of the wider article just skirts around the need to tackle prejudice in the first place.”

Published 28 Jun 2024
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