Boris Johnson just lied about child poverty again at PMQs

Boris Johnson at PMQs on Wednesday 30 March

Boris Johnson has once again used Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) to lie about child poverty figures. Good timing, though – #BorisTheLiar had already been trending.

The Tory class war rages on

During PMQs on Wednesday 30 March, Labour MP Apsana Begum asked the PM about the ongoing class war – or the “cost of living crisis” if you are a Westminster politician or journalist. She noted that the Tories are cutting social security in real terms from April – £10bn, by all accounts. She said that this crisis was:

due to Conservative economics and the notion that while some have the pleasure of partying, the rest of us should suffer.

Johnson waffled about “levelling up” for a while, then turned his attention to poverty rates. And once again, he lied through his teeth.

Johnson: think about the kids!

Specifically, Johnson claimed that there are:

200,000 fewer kids… in poverty

This is literally not true. The independent Children’s Commissioner, appointed by the government, said:

Read on...

relative child poverty did indeed increase by 600,000 between 2011/12 and 2018/19 – from 3.6 million (in 2011/12) to 4.2 million (in 2018/19).

And in 2019/20, this went up by another 100,000. Though it’s true that by 2018/19 absolute child poverty had fallen by 200,000. But overall, this is still half a million more children in some sort of poverty.

Johnson: the serial liar

In July 2021, the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) issued Johnson with an official warning for lying over child poverty. And this wasn’t the first time. The warning was issued because:

Over the last year, a number of concerns have been raised to us regarding the prime minister’s use of statistics on child poverty and in each case, we have brought this to the attention of the briefing team in No10.

So, will it do the same again?

Who cares – it didn’t stop him lying again, did it?


Featured image via Sky News – YouTube

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