Lies, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations from Boris Johnson to Rishi Sunak

‎”Just to point out, purely for accuracy, when I stepped down we were only a handful of points behind the Labour Party”

Boris Johnson, Former Prime Minister, Global Soft Power Summit 2023

Facts

In his first major speech in the UK since resigning, Johnson, speaking at the Global Soft Power summit, claimed that the Conservative Party were only a “handful” of points behind Labour when he resigned. He stated:  “By the way, just to point out, purely for accuracy, when I stepped down we were only a handful of points behind the Labour Party at that moment back in July.”

In doing so,  Johnson repeated remarks made in his resignation speech, where he also claimed the Conservative Party were “only a handful of points” behind the Labour Party in the polls. 

YouGov’s voting intention poll, conducted on 6-7 July (data all conducted before Johnson resigned), showed that Labour was leading by 11 points over the Conservatives when Johnson stepped down as Prime Minister. 

Verdict 

The Tories weren’t just a “handful of points” behind, as Johnson claimed. Labour was eleven points ahead, a formidable poll lead.

Johnson repeated in his resignation speech that the Conservatives were “only a handful of points behind in the polls”. Defenders of the disgraced former Prime Minister might argue that his use of the indefinite term “handful” allowed him to downplay the severity of the situation whilst not being specific enough to mislead people.

Note that Johnson made his false and misleading claim in the interests of “accuracy”. 

We sent a letter to Johnson’s personal and office address offering him the chance to respond. The letter was received (and signed for) by both, but no reply. 

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