Lies, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations from Boris Johnson to Rishi Sunak

‎”The asylum initial decision backlog is down by 17,000 and we are on track to abolish all legacy cases by the end of this year”

Suella Braverman, Home Secretary, House of Commons

Facts

Speaking in Parliament, Home Secretary Suella Braverman stated that “the asylum initial decision backlog is down by 17,000.”

As Full Fact pointed out, Home Office data shows that the number of applications awaiting an initial decision had actually increased since the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak outlined a 5-point plan to tackle the asylum backlog in December 2022.

The Home Office then told Full Fact that the 17,000 figure referred to the backlog of initial decisions relating to asylum applications made before 28 June 2022. 

This had not been made clear in Ms Braverman’s comments.

Braverman has not yet corrected the record and so is in breach of the Ministerial Code.

Verdict

As Full Fact explains, the lack of appropriate context in Braverman’s initial statement renders it misleading. This is not the first time the government has made dubious claims about the asylum backlog (see here, here and here).

According to the Ministerial Code,  “It is of paramount importance that Ministers give accurate and truthful information to Parliament, correcting any inadvertent error at the earliest opportunity.  Ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament will be expected to offer their resignation to the Prime Minister.”

We reached out to the Home Office which replied to the effect that this “is not something the Home Office would comment on.” We also reached out to Suella Braverman’s parliamentary office, but received no reply.

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