Theresa May lied to parliament and the country at PMQs today

At Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) on 13 December, Theresa May used inaccurate and “misleading” figures about homelessness. And because the government was ordered not to use these figures by the UK Statistics Authority, May knew that they were not accurate. In other words, she knowingly misled parliament; or lied.

And this came after Jeremy Corbyn asked May to pledge to end the homelessness crisis. Which she refused to do. Twice.

Misleading May…

As The Canary previously reported, there is a growing homelessness crisis in the UK. Corbyn used PMQs to raise this important topic. But May pinned blame for the crisis on the previous Labour government, saying [12:13:49] that:

Statutory homelessness peaked under the Labour government and is down by over 50% since then. It’s this government that is delivering for people on housing.

But as The Mirror‘s Dan Bloom noted, this is “brazenly misleading”.

And in fact, as The Independent reported in February, the government was:

ordered to stop using potentially misleading statistics about homelessness in the UK.

Because the UK Statistics Authority “disputed figures” which claimed that there had been a drop in homelessness. As the report said:

This claim was found to gloss over the fact that this was only the case under a narrow definition of homelessness; to include only those who authorities are obliged to help. The number did not take into account homeless people who were given assistance under other schemes.

‘Neglect’

Corbyn linked [12:05:14] the “neglect of working class communities” following the Grenfell Tower tragedy to the UK’s homelessness crisis.

He went on to say [12:05:20] that:

since this government came to power, homelessness is up by 50%, rough sleeping has doubled. Homelessness and rough sleeping have risen every single year since 2010.

And he made a direct appeal [12:05:34] to May:

Will the Prime Minister pledge today that 2018 will be the year when homelessness starts to go down?

In her response, May refused to make this pledge. So Corbyn asked her again. And he also pointed out [12:07:17] that:

128,000 children will spend Christmas without a home to call their own, 60% up on 2010. It’s too late for this Christmas, but will the Prime Minister promise that, by Christmas 2018, fewer children will be without a home to call their own?

‘National disgrace’

Corbyn said [12:09:02] that it was a “national disgrace” that one child in a hundred was homeless at any one time. And he linked the rise in homelessness to the growth of insecure tenancies in the rental market.

It’s estimated that landlords in the UK earn £77.7bn each year from rent. And in 2016, it emerged that the number of renters made homeless had tripled since 2010.

Corbyn also pointed out [12:12:44] that:

40% of all [council] homes sold through Right to Buy are now in the private rented sector.

“Liar Liar”

As Corbyn tweeted:

It’s a tragedy that the number of homeless people is rising; and that so many children will be homeless this Christmas. But for May to refuse to accept responsibility for these rising figures under this Conservative government, and to knowingly lie to parliament, is despicable.

Get Involved!

– Support the work done by Crisis and Shelter to end homelessness.

Featured image via screenshot

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed