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[Image: Daily Mirror.]

The prime minister of the United Kingdom has again presided over an attempt to mislead Parliament – this time using false statistics that she has already been ordered not to mention.

Look at this speech by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at Prime Minister’s Questions on Thursday:

He was reacting to the following outburst from Theresa May. Pay particular attention to the comment by Peter Stefanovic, following the clip:

That’s right – the figures suggested by Mrs May were inaccurate – and she had been ordered not to use them by the UK Statistics Authority.

Under Labour, homelessness fell from a peak of more than 35,000 in 2003 to less than 10,000 in 2010. It was one of the Labour government’s finest achievements.

Since the Tories took office again in 2010, according to the graph below, homelessness hasn’t doubled – but is certainly up by almost half, to around 15,000:

DCLG figures quoted below by Full Fact suggest a much higher number of homeless people, but the percentage increase since 2010 is the same:

So, while statutory homelessness did indeed peak under Labour, it also fell under Labour – far below the current level.

The Daily Mirror explains the situation very well:

Despite Mrs May’s claim, the number of households accepted as statutorily homelessness has actually risen – from 10,100 in April-June 2010 to 14,400 in the same period of 2017.

It is down 5% in the last year but up overall since David Cameron took power, official figures show.

Secondly, “statutory homelessness” only covers people found to be both unintentionally homeless and in priority need.

It is not the full picture of homelessness, and other official statistics are a lot less rosy for the Tory government.

There were 78,180 households in temporary accommodation on 30 June 2017 – up an eye-watering 63% since the low of 48,010 on 31 December 2010.

On top of all that, a snapshot measure by the government shows England had 4,134 rough sleepers in autumn 2016 – more than double the 1,768 in 2010 and up every single year.

The Twitterati have been on the case, of course:

This short thread from David Lammy is particularly illuminating:

So we have a prime minister who lied bare-faced to Parliament, claiming that homelessness has fallen under the Conservatives when in fact it has risen massively.

The same prime minister had already been told not to use these fake figures by the UK Statistics Authority – but went ahead and repeated them again at PMQs on Wednesday.

She is part of a government that has placed more responsibility on local authorities to home the homeless, while withdrawing from them the capability to achieve this.

She won’t build social housing and she won’t ensure that private landlords make homes fit for human habitation.

This is a prime minister who should be subjected to the strongest censure possible.

We cannot trust her to quote the facts of any matter – homelessness is simply an example that proves this.

She gets away with this flagrant dishonesty and contempt for the public because the national news media are in her pocket.

Did the BBC point out that she was lying, during or after PMQs on Wednesday? No.

But the UK Statistics Authority is less forgiving, it seems.

According to The Independent:

Ms May’s comments were referred to the UKSA by Lib Dem peer Olly Grender, who last year raised concerns about the Government’s use of the same statistics.

UKSA confirmed it had received a complaint about Ms May’s comments this week. A spokesman said: “A concern has been raised with the UK Statistics Authority, and we will respond in due course.”

There can be only one response.

We have all seen the evidence; Mrs May is a liar.

Can she remain prime minister after a statutory organisation like the UK Statistics Authority states this as fact?


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