Lies, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations from Boris Johnson to Keir Starmer

“One thing that you can point to is our vaccination programme during the pandemic where we were able to go further and faster and lead Europe”

Helen Whately, Department for Health and Social Care Minister, LBC with Nick Ferrari

Facts

Department for Health and Social Care Minister Helen Whately was speaking with Nick Ferrari on LBC when she said “One thing that you can point to is our vaccination programme during the pandemic where we were able to go further and faster and lead Europe”

The vaccine rollout began in December 2020 when the UK was still bound by European Medicines Agency regulations. 

A UK government press release from 23 November 2020 spelt this out in terms. “If a suitable COVID-19 vaccine candidate, […] becomes available before the end of the transition period, EU legislation which we have implemented via Regulation 174 of the Human Medicines Regulations allows the MHRA to temporarily authorise the supply of a medicine or vaccine, based on public health need.”

The head of the MHRA, June Raine, clarified the situation when she said: “we have been able to authorise the supply of this vaccine using provisions under European Law which exist until 1st of January [2021].” 

Verdict

Tory Minister Helen Whately misled LBC viewers. The UK was still bound by European Medicines Agency regulations when the vaccine rollout began in December 2020.

We emailed Helen Whately’s parliamentary office and the DHSC offering them the chance to respond. The email was received, but no reply. 

Published 28 Jun 2024
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