‘Facts don’t matter’: Suella Braverman refuses to correct incorrect figures

'So facts don’t matter'.

Suella Braverman

The truth never really did matter to the Tory party, ministers repeatedly push out lies and falsehoods in a bid to whip up moral panics which they think will make voters support them.

The latest example of this came with our Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who cited incorrect figures on the backlog of people awaiting an initial decision on their asylum claim.

On Monday, the Home Secretary said: “The asylum initial decision backlog is down by 17,000, and we are on track to abolish all legacy cases by the end of this year, having doubled the number of asylum decision-makers over the last two years.”

Those figures were incorrect, as pointed out by Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper who said in a point of order after the statement: “She (Ms Braverman) said the asylum initial decision backlog is down by 17,000, whereas the Home Office official statistics say the asylum initial backlog is now over 170,000, up from 160,000 in December.

“So the facts are, the asylum initial decision backlog is up over 10,000, not down by 17,000.

“I know there was a lot of nonsense in what the home secretary said, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start, but this is about facts, the facts given to parliament.

“Will she now withdraw this incorrect statement that she has made because her facts are wrong?”

Braverman refused to say anything in response when asked by Deputy speaker Eleanor Laing.

Her refusal to correct the record was condemned online, with Alastair Campbell tweeting: “So facts don’t matter. Misleading the Commons is fine. Nobody can force a shameless minister like Braverman to tell the truth.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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