A former UKIP leadership hopeful has sparked hilarity on Twitter by claiming that 7 million babies are born each year in the UK. Steven Woolfe, Independent MEP for North West England, tweeted:
In the next five minutes 70 children will be born in the UK, 20 of those to mothers not born here. 60 people will have migrated here in that time as well.
— Steven Woolfe MEP (@Steven_Woolfe) May 22, 2018
Woolfe’s figures equate to a yearly total of 7.4 million births (including 2.1 million to mothers not born here), and 6.3 million migrants.
Out by a factor of ten
But according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there were 774,849 live births in the UK in 2016. So Woolfe’s figures for total births were out by a factor of almost 10.
Of those children born in England and Wales, 26.9% were to mothers born outside the UK. This works out to fewer than two births every five minutes to mothers not born in the UK. So Woolfe was once again out by a factor of 10.
Out by a factor of 26
As for migration, the ONS reports that, for the year ending September 2017, net migration was 244,000. That works out at around 2.3 people per five minutes, meaning that Woolfe’s figure of 60 people per five minutes is out by a factor of 26.
It was predictable that Twitter would not let this go unnoticed:
I think a graph is due, just to show the extent of Steven's 'error' pic.twitter.com/2FNnPAgirD
— Matt Thomas #GTTO (@Trickyjabs) May 23, 2018
That's 7.4 million babies and 6.3 million migrants a year!
Are you really that dense?
— (((Dotski))) (@dotski_w) May 23, 2018
Wow! That means that in just 14 years time, most people on earth will be British.
— Choosefreedom.eu #FBPE (@EuChoosefreedom) May 23, 2018
6.3 million migrants every year equates to emptying a country the size of Turkey of its population every twelve years. Luckily, by 2218 there will be no countries left for anyone to migrate to the UK from because they'll all be here.*
*This is definitely likely to happen.
— Mike Bevan #FBPE (@MikeBevan_RG) May 23, 2018
“A simple mistake”
However, Woolfe was unabashed. The following afternoon, he tweeted a correction – but without deleting the original tweet.
This didn’t go down well either:
You should probably take the original tweet down then. Wouldn't want to mislead people…
— Jim Leedham (@jimleedham) May 24, 2018
– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.
– Read and support other independent media outlets:
Media Diversified, Novara Media, Corporate Watch, Red Pepper, New Internationalist, Common Space, Media Lens, Bella Caledonia, Vox Political, Evolve Politics, Real Media, Reel News, STRIKE! magazine, The Bristol Cable, The Meteor, The Skwawkbox, Salford Star, The Ferret.
Featured image via flickr/University of Salford
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?