Keir Starmer eviscerates Boris Johnson's false child poverty claims in just 45 seconds

Joanna Taylor
Thursday 25 June 2020 08:15
news

Keir Starmer delivered another devastating blow to Boris Johnson at PMQs, saying that his false claims about child poverty have been "found out".

Taking his usual calm and forensic approach to Prime Minister's Questions, Starmer said:

Last week I asked the prime minister about two claims about child poverty. He said absolute child poverty and relative child poverty have both declined under this government. On Monday, the office of the children's commission ruled that the prime minister's answer was mostly false. 

The prime minister also said there are four thousand fewer families living in poverty now than there were in 2010. On Monday, the office of the children's commission ruled that that was simply false. 

He's been found out. He either dodges the question or gives dodgy answers. 

In just 45 seconds, Starmer eviscerated both Johnson's claims about child poverty improving under the Tory government and his evasive approach to answering questions.

Starmer's experience as a lawyer was particularly evident during this exchange as he carefully laid out the damning evidence against the prime minister's statements before concluding "no more witnesses, I rest my case".

As predicted, Johnson's response didn't answer the question directly.

Instead of "correcting the record" on his child poverty statements as Starmer urged, he instead chose to focus on the tangentially-related issue of schools reopening post-lockdown.

He still can't make up his mind — talking about child poverty — the single biggest determinant of a child's success is whether or not he or she goes to school. He still won't say whether children should go.

Johnson appeared buoyed by the cacophony of 'hear, hears' from the Tory MPs behind him, something he missed during lockdown while the majority of MPs worked from home.

Elsewhere during PMQs, Johnson claimed there wasn't "a single country in the world that has a contact-tracing app", even though Germany has one which has been downloaded 12 million times.

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