Tory Minister blasted on BBC Question Time after doubling down on Tory tax lie

'What a low point'

Mark Harper

Transport Minister Mark Harper was repeatedly called out on BBC Question Time as he humiliated himself by doubling down on Rishi Sunak’s Labour tax lies. 

Despite being presented with evidence that the Prime Minister had misled the public when he claimed “independent Treasury officials” had signed off the calculations on the claim that Labour would raise taxes by £2,000, Harper refused to back down. 

Keir Starmer has slammed the figure as “absolute garbage” after it was repeatedly peddled by Tory ministers, while even the conservative supporting Spectator has rubbished the “nonsense figures”.

Presenter Fiona Bruce pushed Harper on whether he would accept that the public were misled by Rishi Sunak and went on to read out the letter from the chief Treasury civil servant, which threw cold water on the claim it was approved by Treasury officials.

Harper refused to acknowledge it was misleading and continued to double down on Sunak’s lie even after Fiona read the letter out.

“I think the Prime Minister was absolutely straight, he was right to tell everyone what’s coming,” Harper continued. 

Shabana Mahmood, the shadow Justice Secretary who was also on the panel, shook her head as he repeated the disputed figure as she said over him “what a low point”. It came after the panel had been asked the question ‘do truth and integrity still matter in politics?’

She responded: “Come on Mark, you could have started the show today by engaging with the question and actually saying that truth and integrity do matter, and all you’ve done is compound what was a straight up lie told by the Prime Minister.”

Her response received an applause from the audience, as she went on to say that Rishi Sunak had just, “ripped a page out of the Boris Johnson playbook, which is just go on and lie with confidence and hope that you can fool the British public”.   

The UK’s statistics watchdog has now also warned the Tories over the £2,000 tax claim, saying the party had failed to make clear how the figures were calculated. 

(Image credit: BBC Question Time screenshot)

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