Boris Johnson: The prime minister’s claims have been fact-checked

By Fact Checking team
BBC News

image source, PA Media

Boris Johnson faced the Prime Minister’s Questions and then appeared before the Liaison Committee made up of MPs from different political parties. He was asked about a variety of subjects from violence against women to the economy and even his attitude towards mask wearing.

We took a look at some of the statements he made during the day.

‘I think we’re investing around £85m more in CPS prosecutors’

Mr Johnson gave this answer when asked what he was doing to improve the prosecution of rape cases.

Government announced an additional £85 million for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) – to be used for more than two years – in August 2019, although that is intended to help tackle violent crime in general, not just rape.

CPS funding since 2010. £m.  .

But even with the extra money, CPS funding for 2020-21 fell about 26% from 2010-11 levels – if you adjust for inflation or rising prices.

Fact Check looked at more complaints about low level of rape prosecution in this piece.

‘42% of the total [recruits to] The Met is now women, so we’re changing the culture’

Mr Johnson made this statement in response to a question about his confidence in the police, following the murder of Sarah Everard.

The Metropolitan Police has set a target of 50% of newly recruited police officers being female by 2022.

In October, the Met announced So far in 2021, 42.4% of all new police and detectives are women.

According to the Internal Affairs, as of March of this year, 29% of current Met police are female.

‘Only 30 seconds when I’m not wearing a mask’

Mr Johnson was asked if he wore a mask during his visit to Hexham hospital on 8 November.

Asked about it at a press conference on November 15, he said: “I wear a mask wherever the law says I should.”

The rules across Northumbria NHS Trust are that “anyone visiting our hospital and community facilities must continue to wear a face covering at all times to protect patients, visitors and staff”.

image source, Reuters

During the Liaison Committee, Mr Johnson admitted he had not worn a mask for a short time but “put it on as soon as I realized I had made that mistake – I’m sorry for that”.

A statement issued by the hospital trustee, although not released to the media, said he walked down the hallway “for a very short period of time, without a mask” and “for a brief moment”. This moment was captured on camera”.

‘We’re still spending £10 billion on ODA this year’

The government has reduced the amount it spends on foreign aid, known as Official Development Assistance (ODA), from 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) – a measure of the size of the economy – to remaining 0.5%.

But despite that cut, the prime minister told the committee, the UK still spends £10 billion a year and “we are the third largest ODA donor in the G7 as a percentage of GNI”.

This year, UK ODA spending is likely to be close to £11 billion.

And it is expected to be the third largest ODA spender (as a percentage of GNI) in the G7 group of large, industrialized economies, after Germany and France.

Last year, the UK came in second place, ahead of France.

‘We now have near-record unemployment’

The unemployment rate was significantly lower than previously expected during the pandemic and at a relatively low level in history.

Many forecasters had expected the unemployment rate to rise above 5%.

And the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show it at 4.3%.

The unemployment rate is relatively low.  .  .

But this is still higher than the pre-pandemic 3.8% in 2019.

That’s the difference of more than 350,000 people.

The figures go back to 1971.

And the actual record low was 3.4% at the end of 1973.

‘We want 50,000 more nurses and we’re on track to deliver that by the end of Parliament’

The pledge to hire 50,000 more nurses was first made by Mr Johnson at the 2019 general election.

The latest figures shows that there are 310,935 NHS equivalents of full-time nurses and health visitors in the UK as of August 2021.

And that number is up 14,842 since December 2019 but still has just over 35,000 articles to fill before the next election.

The Prime Minister also told the committee: “We are working as hard as we can to get more GPs”.

The government has launched an election pledging to have 6,000 more GPs by 2024.

But earlier this month, Health Secretary Sajid Javid told another committee of MPs: “I don’t think we are on the right track.

“I’m not going to pretend we’re on the right track when it’s obvious we’re not.”

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