Lies, Falsehoods and Misrepresentations from Boris Johnson to Keir Starmer

“Up until this moment, all we have heard from the right hon. and learned Gentleman on this topic is a secret backroom deal with the EU that would see an additional 100,000 migrants here every year”

PM Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister’s Questions

Facts

During Prime Minister’s Questions in November 2023, Rishi Sunak claimed Keir Starmer was talking about “a secret backroom deal with the EU that would see an additional 100,000 migrants here every year.”

As Full Fact notes: “This is misleading. The 100,000 figure is a Conservative party estimate which is not reliable, because it makes several assumptions and appears to misinterpret a recent EU agreement on relocating asylum seekers. We don’t know how many migrants the UK might take under a future returns deal with the EU – Labour has not said what such a deal would involve, or how many migrants it would accept.”

Verdict

Rishi Sunak was misleading the House of Commons. 

At the time of writing (22/05/24) he has not issued a correction, leaving him in breach of his own 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 emailed Rishi Sunak’s office and Downing Street offering them the chance to respond. The email was received, but no reply. 

Additional Note

Sunak was not making a casual error. The same misleading information has been shared on both Greg Hands’ and the Conservative Party’s official X accounts. Conservative ministers have repeatedly shared the claim that Labour plans to take “100,000” migrants. It’s therefore reasonable to state that Sunak was deliberately misleading – i.e. lying to – parliament. 

Published 28 Jun 2024
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