Foreign office staff cuts are “fake news”

Boris Johnson, House of Commons

December 16, 2021

Facts

At Prime Minister’s questions, Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat asked Boris Johnson about reports of a 10% staff cut across the Foreign Office. 

Boris Johnson responded calling it “fake news”. 

He said: “My hon. Friend is an expert on foreign affairs, but I am assured by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary that the information that has recently trickled into his ears is fake news.”

But an email to Foreign Office staff, passed to the i newspaper, quickly revealed the cut is coming, stating: “We are planning on the basis of just under a 10 per cent reduction in our overall workforce size by March 2025.” An image of the letter is available here

Verdict 

Boris Johnson’s false claim that foreign office staff cuts were “fake news” remains on the Hansard record in defiance of the Ministerial Code.

We approached Mr Johnson’s office, the Cabinet Office and the No 10 Press Office to give them a chance to comment, but no reply.

PreviousNext