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Boris Johnnson has not only stood by the controversial figure but now says it is too low [Image: Leon Neal, used by the Daily Mirror].

Misleading? It’s a downright lie.

Here’s the background, from the Daily Mirror:

Labour have reported Boris Johnson to the UK’s statistics watchdog, after he said the discredited claim that leaving the EU would mean Britain gets £350m a week extra to spend on the NHS was an under-estimate.

The Foreign Secretary claimed the official Vote Leave campaign could have used an even higher figure on their infamous red bus during the referendum campaign.

He said: “There was an error on the side of the [Vote Leave] bus. We grossly underestimated the sum over which we would be able to take back control.”

Mr Johnson claimed the UK’s gross contribution would increase to £438 million by the end of the proposed transition period in 2021.

Here‘s the letter from Keir Starmer to Sir David Norgrove, Chair of the UK Statistics Authority:

Foreign Secretary’s comments about the UK’s financial contribution to the EU

I am writing to seek clarification on comments made by the Foreign Secretary yesterday [15 January] about the UK’s financial contribution to the European Union (EU).

In an interview with The Guardian the Foreign Secretary said: “There was an error on the side of the [Vote Leave] bus. We grossly underestimated the sum over which we would be able to take back control.”

The newspaper reports that “Johnson argued that the UK’s EU contribution was already up to £362m per week for 2017-18 and would rise annually to £410m, £431m, and then to £438m by 2020-21 – ‘theoretically the last year of the transition period.’”

The £350m a week claim made by the Vote Leave campaign has been widely condemned as inaccurate and misleading. For example, in September of last year the Statistics Authority wrote to the Foreign Secretary saying, “it is a clear misuse of official statistics.” And yet, Mr Johnson has chosen to repeat this statement and expand on the claim even further. I do not believe this to be acceptable.

I would therefore be grateful if you could make a statement on the accuracy of the Foreign Secretary’s most recent comments.

This Writer can’t wait for the reply. Can you?


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