Rishi Sunak falsely claimed asylum backlog has halved under the Tories, says statistics watchdog

The Prime Minister has been urged to correct the record following his false claim.

Rishi Sunak looking at a laptop screen

Yet another claim by the Tories has been proven to be false, as the party continues to push falsehoods in a bid to win public support.

The latest incident comes after Rishi Sunak claimed that the asylum backlog under the Tories has halved. The Prime Minister told parliament on December 13, 2022, that the backlog of unresolved cases was “half the size that it was when Labour was in office”.

That’s not true, says Robert Chote, the chairman of the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA).

According to Home Office figures, the number of undecided asylum applications was 166,261 at the end of December 2022.

But the number of applications awaiting a decision in June 2010, shortly after Labour left office, was just 18,954.  He said: “This means that during the period from June 2010 to December 2022 there has been a net increase in undecided asylum applications of 147,307, not a halving.”

The Prime Minister has been urged to correct the record following his false claim.

Stephen Kinnock, Shadow Minister for Immigration has written to Rishi Sunak urging him to correct his “erroneous use of figures”.

He wrote on Twitter: “I’ve asked the Prime Minister to correct the record – in line with the Ministerial Code – after the statistics regulator ruled that the asylum backlog had increased by 147,000 since 2010 (not ‘halved’ as PM claimed!)

“Under the Tories it is 8x higher than under Labour, at 166,000.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

(Picture credit: Simon Walker / Number 10 Downing Street – Creative Commons)

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