PM’s repeat false claims shows Parliament’s corrections system is failing—we can fix it

8 April 2022 | Team Full Fact

Full Fact research shows that 71% of the population believe there was more lying and misuse of facts in politics and media than 30 years ago. Lack of faith in politics is a top 10 concern for the public.

Honesty in public debate matters

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And yet, we have a political system that operates as if honesty doesn’t matter.

That’s why Full Fact is launching a new campaign today, calling on all MPs to fix Parliament’s corrections system as a first step to rebuilding trust in politics.

Add your name

You might have noticed over the past few months we’ve seen and challenged eight instances where Prime Minister Boris Johnson has incorrectly claimed in Parliament there were more people in work than prior to the pandemic.

This isn’t true, and the PM is yet to correct the official record. 

This is not the first time a PM has failed to correct the record following a false claim. Full Fact has fact checked and found misleading statements made by three previous Prime Ministers. Out of Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May, only Mr Cameron ever responded by correcting the official record. 

These failures to correct the record are not only in breach of the Ministerial Code but show us that the current corrections system is not fit to uphold standards of honesty in public life. The rules around corrections do not even apply to the Leader of the Opposition, shadow ministers or backbench MPs.

As our elected representatives, MPs owe us the truth.

Today we’re launching a petition aimed at MPs across the political divide. We’re asking them to publicly acknowledge when they get things wrong, collectively agree new rules which make it easy to correct mistakes made in the House of Commons, and in turn stop their fellow MPs repeatedly misleading Parliament.

When our politicians don’t correct their mistakes, everybody loses. Our system is broken. But together, we can create real change.

If you agree that your MP should stand up for honesty, add your name today.

I want my MP to stand up for honesty

“Correcting mistakes is not an admission of failure, but a way for MPs to lead by example and help rebuild trust in public life. What’s said in the Houses of Parliament should be the cornerstone of our democratic debate.

“Currently, only a handful of MPs can officially correct the record when they make a false statement in parliament. It’s not right that the rules designed to uphold honesty in political debate don’t even apply to the Leader of the Opposition.”

“The system is broken. We’re calling on MPs to make vital changes so it’s easy for every elected representative to correct mistakes and that there are real consequences when politicians choose not to."

Will Moy, CEO, Full Fact

If you want to know more about our campaign and what we're calling for, take a look at the FAQs

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