Boris Johnson's main election pledge debunked within minutes of his manifesto launch

Louis Staples
Sunday 24 November 2019 16:15

It doesn't look like Boris Johnson’s main manifesto pledge of 50,000 new nurses is actually true.

Johnson is known for being somewhat economical with the truth. In fact, one of the themes of the General Election campaign has been Tory “facts” turning out to be Tory fibs. Remember the bogus “FactCheckUK” Twitter account? Or the promise to build 40 new hospitals that turned out to be just six?

Unveiling the Conservative’s election manifesto, Boris Johnson pledged to give the NHS 50,000 "more" nurses.

But, looking more closely at the figures, the numbers don’t quite add up.

The Guardian’s deputy political editor Rowena Mason reports that 19,000 of these nurses are “retained”, which means they’re staying in the NHS instead of leaving.

So the pledge of 50,000 "new" nurses is 31,000 at best, just 62 per cent of the pledged figure.

Then there’s also the matter of the nurses bursary, which the Tories were warned against scrapping in 2015, but have now promised to bring back.

Critics of the initial removal of the bursary were quick to say “I told you so”.

More: A really, really long list of awful things Boris Johnson has said about women, LGBT+ people and people of colour​