“Keir Starmer wants to scrap universal credit, withdrawing vital support from millions of people”

Conservative Party Twitter

January 17, 2021

The Conservative party tweeted: “Keir Starmer wants to scrap universal credit, withdrawing vital support from millions of people”, accompanied by an edited video of Keir Starmer saying, “Universal credit needs to be scrapped.”. The text of the video said, “Labour can’t say what would replace this vital support.”

Facts

The full comment from Sir Keir Starmer, taken from an interview with Andrew Marr, was actually quite different.

He said: “Yes, universal credit needs to be scrapped and a new scheme put in place. In the immediate future, what I am very determined to do is to persuade the government to stop the cut to universal credit that is coming in April. That is going to affect millions of families that cut to universal credit. It’s unfair and the government shouldn’t be doing it.”

Verdict

The Conservative party’s tweet was profoundly dishonest. Sir Keir Starmer (at this point: he has since changed his mind) wanted to replace universal credit with another system. He did not want to halt welfare payments.

The Conservative Party Twitter statement - which can still be found on the party’s Twitter account - was misleading, and designed to mislead. In short, the Conservative Party was lying. It took Keir Starmer’s words out of context and gave them quite the opposite meaning to what he intended. Sir Keir was actually trying to stop the cut to universal credit, rather than the reverse. 

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