General election: 7 lies or half-truths Boris Johnson told in his first speech
Boris Johnson finally launched his election campaign today - and it looks like he started as he means to go on.
The Prime Minister blurted out an avalanche of half truths, deceptions and flat out lies as he told voters to “come with us” on Brexit
Standing in front of the black door of 10 Downing Street, he spoke in his first event after meeting the Queen following the dissolution of Parliament.
He was in full political mode, denouncing Corbyn as a friend of Russia and boasting of advances under the Tories.
Yet from hospitals to immigration his hardline attacks just don’t ring true - or left key details out.
And he even got the number of days he’s been in office wrong.
Here are the 7 biggest lies and deceptions he told on the first day of the campaign.
1. Parliament voted to approve the Brexit deal
WHAT HE SAID: It has been frankly mind-boggling in the last few weeks to see how parliament first voted to approve this deal, and then voted for delay.
THE FACTS: Parliament did not vote to approve the PM’s Brexit deal. Instead it backed the second reading of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. Despite its name, second reading is basically the first hurdle a Bill goes through on the long road to becoming law. Often MPs back a Bill at second reading to secure a debate, but then vote against at a later point if it isn't amended to be acceptable - and several said they would have done so in this case.
2. He's building 40 new hospitals
WHAT HE SAID: 40 new hospitals.
THE FACTS: Boris Johnson ’s promise of 40 ‘new hospitals’ will actually only deliver six unless the Tories win the next two elections - not one future election, but two. And it includes renovations of existing hospitals.
3. Labour want to ban Ofsted
THE FACTS: Labour would scrap Ofsted - but in what you might think is a key detail, it would be replaced with a new two-phase inspection system. The party says all schools will be subject to regular ‘health checks’ by councils, with a more in-depth inspection led by Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMIs) if concerns arise.
4. Labour will have no controls on immigration
WHAT HE SAID: Go with Labour and a totally uncontrolled and unlimited immigration system that would put huge pressure on the NHS and other services.
THE FACTS: This relates to a motion that members passed at the party conference, not a manifesto pledge. However, even that motion didn't vow to scrap all controls - it pledged to extend free movement and "reject any immigration system based on incomes, migrants’ utility to business, and number caps/targets." While this is of course a big reduction in controls, it won't necessarily become Labour policy going into the election as that is decided by scores of party chiefs in a 'Clause V' manifesto approval meeting.
5. Labour will allow a Scottish independence referendum in 2020
WHAT HE SAID: Corbyn would spend the whole of 2020 having two referendums. One on Scotland – because he has done a deal with the Scots nationalists to assist the break up of the union if they sustain him in power.
THE FACTS: Labour recently ruled out allowing a Scottish independence referendum in 2020. A spokesman said: "In the early years, in the formative years of a Labour government, we wouldn’t agree to such a request. But in the longer run if there was a democratic and properly formulated request on the basis of a majority of the Scottish Parliament or the Scottish Government it would be wrong to block it." The door was apparently left open for 2021.
6. Labour voted against tax cuts for workers
WHAT HE SAID: Go with a left-wing Labour party that believes in high taxes for everyone – and that voted under this government against £7,800 of tax cuts on working people. That's what they did.
THE FACTS: The £7,800 figure appears to be a catch-all Tory estimate of the times Labour has, for example, voted against the Budget. But Labour often votes against Budgets for good reasons that have nothing to do with tax. For instance, the party opposed the Budget 2018 because it failed to stop the rollout of Universal Credit . Labour has meanwhile pledged its own measures including a £10 minimum wage for all workers from age 16.
7. How long he's been in power
WHAT HE SAID: I am very proud of what we have done in the last 108 days or whatever it is, 108 days or so.
THE FACTS: Boris Johnson has been Prime Minister for 105 days, not 108.