“We are...investing another £1 billion in clearing the court backlogs, in ensuring they have people they can listen to and trust who will help them through the trials of the criminal justice experience.”

Boris Johnson, Prime Ministers Questions

June 23, 2021

Facts

At PMQs, Keir Starmer asked Johnson about the record-low conviction and prosecution rates for rape. Not only did Johnson dismiss this as “jabber”, but he went on to say:

“We are fixing that and we are fixing that by investing another £1 billion in clearing the court backlogs, in ensuring they have people they can listen to and trust who will help them through the trials of the criminal justice experience.”

Government figures show that they are investing at best a quarter of this amount. As outlined in the spending review, the government is investing: “£275 million to manage the downstream demand impact of 20,000 additional police officers and reduce backlogs in the Crown Court caused by COVID-19.”

Under the Conservative government, rape convictions and prosecutions have fallen to a record low, while the Crown Court backlog has risen to a record high.

David Lammy, the Shadow Justice Secretary sent a letter to Johnson asking him to correct the record but the Prime Minister is yet to do so.

Verdict

Boris Johnson’s claim was false. His full statement remains uncorrected on the Commons record, in defiance of the Ministerial Code

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