Lies, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations from Boris Johnson to Rishi Sunak

‎The UK sanctioned “275 individuals already, a further 100 last week, the impact is being felt”.

Boris Johnson, Prime Ministers Questions


Speaking at PMQs on March 2 2022, Boris Johnson said the UK had sanctioned 100 more Russian oligarchs, on top of 275 individuals already sanctioned. 

But when BBC Reality Check asked for the names of the 100, the government could not provide them and said: “We’ll let you know as soon as we have further details to add.”

Instead, it sent a list of every person and company currently sanctioned by the UK, including people from Iran and North Korea. It showed that 15 Russian individuals were sanctioned. 

The UK Statistics AuthorityCode of Practice says: “Policy, press or ministerial statements referring to regular or ad hoc official statistics should be issued separately from, and contain a prominent link to, the source statistics. The statements should meet basic professional standards of statistical presentation, including accuracy, clarity and impartiality.”


The government was unable to provide evidence to support Boris Johnson’s claim.  Though this does not mean his claim was untrue, Johnson’s proven lack of integrity and habitual deceit mean that his claim to have sanctioned 275 individuals should be regarded as suspicious, all the more so since the official government list showed that just 15 Russian individuals had been sanctioned. 

We approached Mr Johnson’s office, the Cabinet Office and the No 10 Press Office to give him a chance to comment, but received no response. 

It is impossible to verify Mr Johnson’s figures, meaning that his announcement is unsubstantiated. Such an unsupported statement is in breach of the UK Statistics Authority’s Code of Practice. 

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