While people on payrolls are up since pre-Covid, the number of people in jobs overall was still down by 580,000 compared to December 2019-February 2020. We can state with confidence that Johnson knew this because the UKSA chair Sir David Norgrove, chair of the UK Statistics Authority, had previously told the PM “it is wrong to claim that there are now more people in work than before the pandemic began”, but he continued using the figure.
Four weeks earlier, on March 30, Boris Johnson had told the Commons Liaison Committee that he accepted the UKSA correction.
According to the Ministerial Code, “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.”
Boris Johnson was lying to Parliament. His correction was not inadvertent and he has not corrected his false statement, meaning that he is in breach of the Ministerial Code.
We approached Mr Johnson’s office, the Cabinet Office and the No 10 Press Office to give him a chance to comment, but received no response.