Boris Johnson’s lies

It’s not just Boris Johnson’s lying. It’s that the media let him get away with it

Peter Oborne

During a speech lasting no more than 10 minutes, viewers learn that he is building 40 new hospitals. Sounds good. But it’s a lie that has already been exposed by fact-checkers, including the website Full Fact.

The prime minister tells Sky viewers that “20,000 more police are operating on our streets to fight crime and bring crime down”. This assertion is misleading in a number of ways. Recruitment will take place over three years and do no more than replace the drop in officer numbers seen since the Conservatives came to power in 2010.

Sky viewers are then informed by Johnson that Jeremy Corbyn “plans to wreck the economy with a £1.2 trillion spending plan”. Labour’s manifesto hasn’t been published, let alone fully costed. Johnson’s £1.2tn is a palpable fabrication. As Full Fact concluded: “Many of the figures behind this estimate are uncertain or based on flawed assumptions.”

Johnson then goes on to say that the Labour leader “thinks home ownership is a bad idea and is opposed to it”. I have been unable to find any evidence of Corbyn expressing this view. Perhaps Johnson is referring to the floated Labour policy that would give “right to buy” to private tenants. The policy, which was only ever supposed to target the wealthiest landlords, has since been dropped and, according to the Financial Times, will not appear in the party’s manifesto.

In theory Johnson should not be able to get away with this scale of lying and deceit. In a properly functioning democracy, liars should be exposed and held to account. But that isn’t happening. As with Donald Trump, for Johnson there seems to be no political price to pay for deceit and falsehood. The mainstream media … prefers to go along with his lies rather than expose them.

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