Just over 100 days in and Boris Johnson’s ‘lied and misled’ 80 times. And rising.

Boris Johnson
Fréa Lockley

A new account from the Labour Party tracked 80 examples of Boris Johnson’s ‘lies and dishonesty’ in just over 100 days. When read alongside each other, they make for shocking reading. And even since this was published, Johnson’s not stopped.

“Having trouble keeping track of… Johnson’s lies?”

On 4 October, a new account from the Labour Party called the Insider shared its article called “80 reasons why you can’t trust Boris Johnson”. As it notes:

Since Johnson launched his Tory leadership bid – just over 100 days ago – he has lied and misled his Party, Parliament and the public at least 80 times.

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To navigate his many and varied untruths we’ve created a handy interactive timeline.

Johnson is frequently dishonest and has a habit of repeating his favourite lies over and over again, so to make it more manageable for you (and for us!) we have only recorded each lie once.

First published on 29 September, the meticulously researched article is ongoing with updates. The latest, on 3 October, for example, shows that in parliament (as recorded by Hansard) Johnson said:

Following the publication of alternative arrangements to the backstop, Johnson addressed Parliament and stated that there would be no customs checks at the Irish border or “indeed at any other place.”

Yet, as it shows, this is not what the source text (euronews) reported:

This is not what Johnson has told the EU. In a letter to Jean-Claude Junker he said that there would need to be a “very small number of physical checks” at traders’ premises or points in the supply chain.

And on, and on it goes…

Johnson’s ‘best bits’

The article contains 10 references to times Johnson’s told an “outright lie” or “flat out lie”. Let’s not forget, this man’s our prime minister.

In such a long list of lies, misinformation and dishonesty it’s tricky to pull out highlights. Starting on 12 June, as he set out on the leadership contest, Johnson made what the Insider called “entirely misleading” comments about building more affordable homes in his time as London mayor. It goes on to catalogue a barrage of Johnson’s deceit throughout the contest from nurses and education, from tax to Brexit.

By 12 July, for example, he told the Telegraph that “financial services bring in £72 billion in tax”. ‘Somehow’ he added and extra £43bn to the actual figure of £29bn.

In his first statement to parliament on 25 July, the new prime minister insisted that that “crime is…down”. Yet as the article shows:

just 17 minutes earlier he admitted that there was a “rising tide of violence”… Violent crime has actually more than doubled under the Tories, including record levels of knife crime.

And this pattern has just carried on, because, on 4 October, Johnsons sent out a tweet that was totally at odds with a Brexit statement put out by his aides:

In fact, as one Twitter user noted, it’s getting harder not to notice:

Added to this, he keeps smirking when he lies:

“Universal deceit”

As George Orwell famously wrote in 1984:

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

Orwell’s words seem more poignant than ever. Backed by Dominic Cummings and his right-wing government, this seems like a clear and dangerous strategy from Johnson. The continual lies and misinformation create constant distraction and confusion. It’s a strategy that also seems to be straight out of the Donald Trump playbook.

In contrast stands Jeremy Corbyn. His continued honesty really is ‘revolutionary’. So as Johnson’s lies continue, because they inevitably will, that’s what we all need to remember.

Featured image via ©UK Parliament / Jessica Taylor

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  • Show Comments
    1. Reading an article elsewhere about parliamentarians, and indeed Jeremy Corbyn as well who, apparently, has lied the article asks ‘Are they lies, confusion or misinformation? They are all counterfactuals…that’s the point.’ Counterfactuals and other wheedling ways politicians weave their machinations of argument thisaway-and-thataway against avoiding the answering of pointed or direct questions is a very well known characteristic of the political class endeavouring to say one thing and meaning another. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6jn7PBJr18

      1. Jeremy Corbyn who apparently has lied? This looks remarkably like a red herring thrown in the mix to deflect from Johnson. Corbyn doesn’t lie. He doesn’t need to. What you see is what you get, an honourable man who wants to help those who need it, not a self serving egotist like Johnson.

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