Boris Article Wasn’t Wrong About £350 Million

Boris-hating journalists have reported the row between BoJo and Sir David Norgrove with such glee that they have neglected to mention that Boris’ article was correct and Sir David has cocked up. The supposedly independent UK Statistics Authority chief wrote in his public letter designed to embarrass Boris:

“I am surprised and disappointed that you have chosen to repeat the figure of £350 million per week, in connection with the amount that might be available for extra public spending when we leave the European Union.”

Except this is wrong and Sir David has made a pretty major error. Boris actually wrote in his Telegraph article:

“Once we have settled our accounts, we will take back control of roughly £350 million per week. It would be a fine thing, as many of us have pointed out, if a lot of that money went on the NHS…”

Boris doesn’t say there would be £350 million extra money available for public spending. He talks about “control”, because half of how this money is spent is currently controlled by the EU, and he wants it to be controlled by the UK. Boris-bashing journalists are pointing to old Vote Leave posters to defend their corner, but Norgrove’s letter was not about those posters, it was very specifically about Boris’ Telegraph article. Sir David has created a huge row distorting the words of a senior Cabinet minister in order to make a political point. An independent public servant would be considering their position…

UPDATE: Nadine Dorries says Norgrove should resign:

“David Norgrove, resign. You are not fit to be head of UK statistics when you deliberately play politics to deceive and distort basic facts.”

UPDATE II: Michael Gove also backing Boris and tacitly criticisng Norgrove:




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