“The largest single corporate donation to the Labour party came from a member of the Chinese communist party.”

Boris Johnson, House of Commons

February 22, 2022

Facts

This claim is referring to donations from Christine Lee, who, alongside her law firm, has donated almost £373,000 worth of staff costs plus almost £55,000 in cash to Labour MP Barry Gardiner since 2015, according to Electoral Commission figures.

Lord Sainsbury has donated far more than this to the Labour party, donating £2.15 million to the party in 2016 alone. He has donated millions of pounds to the party over the years. 

Later the No 10 Press Secretary reportedly corrected the statement

Verdict

Johnson was misleading the Commons. Commons rules demand that ministers themselves correct false statements they make to parliament. A statement outside parliament is not enough. The wording of the Ministerial Code makes this clear: 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.”

Leaving it to a press secretary to do so verbally at a subsequent lobby briefing is not enough. Johnson’s failure to correct his misleading statement contravened the Ministerial Code.

We approached Mr Johnson’s office, the Cabinet Office and the No 10 Press Office to give him a chance to respond. No answer.

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