Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis has not corrected false statements
6:00 am July 19, 2022
Two Norfolk MPs, including Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis, have been named on a list of politicians who have issued false claims and failed to correct official records.
Great Yarmouth representative Mr Lewis and his Conservative colleague Jerome Mayhew, MP for Broadland, were included in the list compiled by fact-checking journalists at the independent charity Fulfact.
This comes as Mr. Lewis wrote in The Times yesterday [MON] That “trust in our politics is at rock bottom” and that “trust in politics, politicians and the political system can only be restored by matching words with actions”.
But it’s been 61 days since Mr Lewis falsely claimed the employment figures and he has yet to correct it, despite the error brought to his attention by Fulfact.
during the interview sky News And on BBC Breakfast on 17 May Mr Lewis said: “We are seeing more people at work than we even saw before Covid.”
this is wrong. There are more people on the payroll, but the total number of people working, including the self-employed, is 504,000 less than the pre-pandemic figure, according to the Office of National Statistics, (ONS).
When he spoke, total employment was still down 0.9 percent from the three-month period to February 2020.
In a statement accompanying the data, Darren Morgan, ONS’ Director of Economic Statistics, made very clear: “Total employment, while in the quarter, remains below its pre-pandemic levels.
“Since the start of the pandemic, nearly half a million more people have been completely cut off from the labor market.”
But when his claim was challenged by BBC presenter Sally Nugent, Mr Lewis said: “Unemployment is actually down to where it was before Covid. Employment figures are back where they were pre-Covid.
Mr. Lewis and his staff declined to respond to our multiple attempts to contact him for this article.
In a Commons debate 173 days earlier in January, Mr Mayhew made a similar claim, stating that “this country now has more jobs than it did in pre-pandemic times – over 400,000 jobs – and we should celebrate it.” should be celebrated”.
Mr Mayhew told us: “Sometimes there are factual errors in unwritten debates, but when the opportunity arises it should be corrected, if significant.
“Fulfact pointed out that the data I referred to actually only refers to employment on the payroll, rather than the entire employment sector.
“He was right and I admitted my mistake to him, but did not think that this in itself required a formal correction of the record.”
He declined to say whether he would now correct the record.
Other lawmakers on the full-fact list include former Tory leadership candidates Suella Braverman and Sajid Javid, Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer and his deputy Angela Renner, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson – who appears on the list four times.