“I might ask the honourable Lady how she can justify this country spending another £1 billion per month on delaying our exit from the European Union”

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister’s Questions

October 30, 2019

Claim

Boris Johnson has repeatedly made the claim that delaying Britain’s exit from the EU costs the country £1 billion per month. He previously made the claim at the Conservative Party conference and on the Today programme. On this occasion he made it to Labour MP Karen Buck.

Facts

This claim is untrue, as I show in my analysis of 28 October. It is especially significant that he made it in parliament, because the ministerial code states that “it is of paramount importance that ministers give accurate and truthful information to parliament, correcting any inadvertent error at the earliest opportunity. Ministers who knowingly mislead parliament will be expected to offer their resignation to the prime minister.”

Johnson has not corrected the record, as he is obliged to. When I approached the Downing Street press office to ask whether he would, they did not reply. They referred me instead to “our special advisors who have advised that they will not be providing any comment at this time.”

Verdict

Johnson’s statement is a lie that he has repeated on multiple occasions. The ministerial code, to which Johnson wrote the foreword, demands that ministers who knowingly mislead parliament should offer their resignations. His “£1 billion per month” claim is a gross breach of the ministerial code. His failure to correct the record is deeply shocking.

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