Boris Johnson has been urged by a Commons committee to issue 11 corrections relating to occasions when he falsely claimed employment is higher now than it was before the pandemic.
The chair of the Commons liaison committee, Sir Bernard Jenkin, issued the effective rebuke to the prime minister after a session in March when Johnson wrongly claimed that he had already corrected the record.
The number of people in payroll employment – working for a company – is higher now than it was before the pandemic. But total employment is lower, because there has been a large fall in the number of people are who self-employed. But this has not stopped Johnson repeatedly telling MPs that overall employment is higher – despite this error being pointed out to him more than once by statistic experts.
In evidence to the committee in March, when asked about this, Johnson said that he thought No 10 had already corrected the record.
In a letter released today, responding to a letter from Johnson following up on points raised during the hearing, Jenkin says Johnson has still not said what he has done to correct the record on this point. He identifies 11 references in Hansard to Johnson telling MPs employment is higher now than before the pandemic. Jenkin goes on:
I would be grateful if you could send the committee a copy of these corrections, once they have been made.
The liaison committee is often seen as the most senior of the Commons committee because its membership comprises the chairs of all select committees. (Guardian Live).