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23 Jan, 2020 17:04

BoJo accused of ‘making things up’ & forced into climbdown after claiming life expectancy gap between rich & poor closing

BoJo accused of ‘making things up’ & forced into climbdown after claiming life expectancy gap between rich & poor closing

British PM Boris Johnson has been forced into an embarrassing retreat after incorrectly claiming that the gap between the rich and the poor in the UK is narrowing thanks to his Conservative Party.

During a parliamentary session on Thursday, Johnson told MPs that the gap was “a disgrace,” before insisting that “nonetheless, it is coming down, and it will come down” – to the bemusement of many opposition lawmakers.

Official statistics published in March 2019 showed that life expectancy for women in the poorest areas of England has fallen by three months – while the life span of women in the richest parts of the nation is growing by almost as much.

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The disparity between men in the richest and poorest parts has also increased by around three months, due to a faster rise in life expectancy for the wealthy.

Downing Street initially stood by Johnson’s claim and insisted that that they would provide the data to back it up, but have so far failed to do so, according to the Independent.

Labour’s shadow minister for housing Alex Cunningham, who raised the issue with the prime minister, ostensibly accused Johnson of lying, claiming that he was “renowned for making things up.” 

It’s not the first time Johnson has been criticized by opposition MPs for supposedly telling lies. As recently as Wednesday, a Scottish National Party (SNP) lawmaker was heard labeling Johnson a “desperate liar” three times during a heated exchange on education in Scotland between the PM and the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford.

Johnson was sacked from his Times newspaper job in 1988 over allegations he made up a quote from his godfather, the historian Colin Lucas; and in 2004 Johnson was “relieved of his duties” as the Conservatives’ shadow arts minister for allegedly lying about an extramarital affair.

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