“We’re upgrading 20 hospitals and building 40 new ones. And you are going to say, oh, well, it’s only six. Actually, that’s not true.”

Boris Johnson, The Andrew Marr Show

December 1, 2019

Facts

In an interview with the Andrew Marr Show, Boris Johnson said: “We’re upgrading 20 hospitals and building 40 new ones. And you are going to say, oh, well, it’s only six. Actually, that’s not true.” 

He went on to say: “We are putting in the seed money for 40 new hospitals”, which would be ready in “10 years’ time.”

Forty new hospitals will not be built as a result of decisions taken by the Conservative party. Numerous fact-checking organisations have rebutted this claim. As Full Fact noted: “the government has committed the money to upgrade six hospitals by 2025. Up to 38 other hospitals have received money to plan for building work between 2025 and 2030, but not to actually begin any work.”

Verdict

Note how in this exchange with Andrew Marr Boris Johnson pre-emptively dismisses those who challenge his claim that he was building 40 new hospitals. This is telling because it shows that Johnson was conscious that the claim had been challenged, and nevertheless resolved to repeat his false claims. Johnson’s promise boiled down to a pledge to provide up to 40 hospitals with seed money for building plans where building would not begin until at least 2025, after the next general election but one. This is not the same as a guarantee that he would be “building 40 new ones.” Boris Johnson was misleading viewers.

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