The BBC are shamelessly ignoring a mega-viral video exposing Boris Johnson’s rampant lying in Parliament


LONDON (Bywire News)- Over the past few months, a video documenting a truly staggering array of lies told by the prime minister Boris Johnson in the House of Commons has gone mega-viral on social media - racking up more than 13 million views and gaining personal endorsements from numerous high profile personalities and politicians.

The video, created by lawyer and journalist Peter Stefanovic, has also been the inspiration behind a Parliamentary campaign - led by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and supported by leading MPs from six of the seven opposition parties (Keir Starmer’s spokesperson said Labour wouldn’t support it because they don’t normally work with other parties) - calling on the Speaker of the House to grant an inquiry into the prime minister’s diabolically strained relationship with the truth.

Stefanovic’s 2:20min video provides clips of Boris Johnson gloating over supposed successes of the Conservative Party and/or his own government in the House of Commons, with Stefanovic providing succinct rebuttals which demonstrate, using publicly available information, exactly how each one of the PM’s claims is categorically untrue.

The claims and lies outlined in Stefanovic’s video are as follows:

Claim 1: On the 5th of February 2020, during PMQs, the prime minister said: “We have cut CO2 emissions in this country since 2010, on 1990 levels, by 42%.”

The Truth: A decline of about 38% in CO2 emissions has occurred since 1990, not 2010 - making Johnson’s statement wrong by a full two decades.

Claim 2: On the 29th of January 2020, during PMQs, the prime minister said: “The economy under this Conservative government has grown by 73%”.

The Truth: Under Conservative-led governments since 2010, the UK’s GDP has grown by around 20%. The higher figure refers to economic growth since 1990, which includes 13 years of Labour governments.

Claim 3: On the 4th of March 2020, during PMQs, the prime minister said: “We have restored the nurses’ bursary”.

The Truth: Nurses’ bursaries have not been “restored”. Student nurses are awarded a £5,000 maintenance grant, but still have to pay tuition fees - which they did not have to pay under the actual nurses’ bursary.

Claim 4: On the 4th of March 2020, during PMQs, the prime minister stated that his government had ensured “free hospital car parking for anybody who attends a hospital.

The Truth: Johnson’s statement is just an outright lie - NHS hospitals across England are still legally allowed to impose car parking charges for all manner of people attending hospitals, with many NHS staff even forced to stump up thousands of pounds a year just to park at work.

Claim 5: On the 17th of June 2020, during PMQs, the prime minister said “There are hundreds of thousands, I think 400,000, fewer families living in poverty now than there were in 2010”.

The Truth: Johnson’s statement is entirely wrong. Both the Children’s Commissioner and the Office for Statistics Regulation have confirmed that the PM’s claim was not borne out of the actual figures, and was therefore not true.

Claim 6: On the 24th of June 2020, the prime minister said that “no country in the world has a working contact tracing app”.

The Truth: At the time, numerous countries had functioning contact tracing apps - including France, Germany, Australia, Poland, Latvia, Denmark, Japan and Italy, to name but a few.

Claim 7: On the 15th of July 2020, during PMQs, the prime minister said that “his government was providing “record investment in the NHS” - a claim he has made numerous times in Parliament.

The Truth: In real terms, Boris Johnson’s government are investing an extra £20.5bn in the NHS over the next five years - which, as Full Fact point out, is “certainly not the biggest spending increase ever over five years” because the last Labour government provided a bigger real terms spending increase between 2004/05 and 2009/10.

 



And if the lies exposed in Peter Stefanovic’s video weren’t enough, Caroline Lucas included a couple more examples of the prime minister’s brazen deceit in her letter to the Speaker of the House:

Claim 1: On the 10th of February 2021, during PMQs, the prime minister said that Bridgend, Wales was "going to be the one of the great centres of battery manufacturing in this country, if not the world".

The Truth: Boris Johnson’s own government was forced to admit that they have absolutely no plans for battery manufacturing factories in Bridgend - meaning this was yet another false claim. No retraction has yet been made in the House of Commons.

Claim 2: On the 22nd of February 2021, in reply to a question about the details of Coronavirus contracts handed out by the government, the prime minister said “As for the contracts that the Hon. Lady just mentioned, all the details are on the record”.

The Truth: The PM’s statement directly contradicted a High Court ruling which found that the Government breached the law by not putting enough of the details of Coronavirus contracts on the record.

Despite the incredible number of people who have watched Stefanovic’s video (over 13.5m at the time of writing) - in addition to a huge cross-party campaign that has sprung up because of it - only two mainstream outlets have deemed it newsworthy, The Guardian and The Independent.

The mainstream media’s astonishing lack of interest in the subject of the prime minister’s lies is something Stefanovic has also routinely called out over the past few months  - with much of his ire directed at the UK’s public broadcaster, the BBC, for their apathy towards what is clearly an important public interest story.

However, the BBC’s editorial decision not to report on Mr Stefanovic’s video, and their apparently unconcerned approach to what can only be described as multiple ‘lies’ told by the prime minister, does not seem to be simply borne out of ignorance.

Indeed, when former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell mentioned Stefanovic’s video and Boris Johnson’s repeated false claims during an interview on the BBC News Channel last week, the presenter responded in an astonishingly nonchalantly manner, simply saying “do people care?”

Moreover, the BBC also attempted to downplay the story during interviews with Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley, and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas - as documented by another of the lawyer’s tweets:

 

 

In fact, the sole mention of Mr Stefanovic’s astonishingly viral video on any of the BBC’s platforms can be found as a mere sidenote - replete with seemingly sarcastic quotation marks and a passive-aggressive footnote - within an article reporting Caroline Lucas’s letter to the Speaker, stating:

“The letter followed a video being posted on Twitter by the campaigner Peter Stefanovic, outlining what he called "clear evidence" of the prime minister "misleading Parliament". This has been viewed more than 12.8 million times.

Mr Stefanovic has also accused the BBC, ITV News, Sky News and Channel 4 News of failing to report on the issues he raises.”

Speaking to Bywire News, Mr Stefanovic praised his supporters for helping bring focus onto the subject of the PM's lying, as well as criticising the UK media for their "hugely disappointing" conduct, stating:

"I think we have witnessed something extraordinary over the past few weeks, and this story is as much about the empowerment of the public to hold those in high office to account as it is about a film having been shared hundreds of thousands of times to gain almost 14 million views. We have shown that when the people come together in a common cause, and with a common goal, we really can effect change.

Over the past week, our collective action has led to questions being raised in the House of Commons; it’s led to a coalition of practically every opposition party leader coming together to take Parliamentary action against the prime minister's relentless lying; and it’s led to the possibility (although we are still at the start of the process) of the prime minister facing tough new rules to force him correct misleading statements to Parliament after the Commons Speaker backed demands for tougher action to promote honesty in politics.

We did all this TOGETHER. That’s as much the story as the worrying pattern of behavior on the part of the PM highlighted in my film.

It’s hugely disappointing that UK news shows don’t appear to think that a story like this, one of the empowerment of the people to effect real change, is something they want to report. You can only wonder why."

Boris Broadcasting Corporation

In recent years, the BBC has become increasingly accused of bias in favour of the Tory government - an issue which came to a head following innumerable “mistakes” during the 2019 General Election campaign, all of which ‘just happened’ to benefit Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party:

Even before the 2019 election it was clear that the BBC were covering for Johnson - with respected conservative journalist Peter Oborne claiming that in discussions with “senior BBC executives” they had personally told him that the BBC would be “wrong to expose lies told by a British prime minister because it undermines trust in British politics”.

And, as if the corporation’s conduct towards him wasn’t overly kind enough already, Boris Johnson has now stacked things even further in his favour - using his power to install a former Tory politician, Tim Davie, to the role of BBC Director General, and Richard Sharp, a man who has previously donated £400k to the party, to the role of BBC Chairman.

It seems entirely obvious why the usual suspects in the right-wing media, such as The Daily Mail, the Telegraph and the Sun, are ignoring Mr Stefanovic’s video - because it brutally exposes the deplorable behaviour of the very man these outlets openly endorsed and helped into Downing Street.

But, as more and more people are beginning to realise, these outlets are all privately-owned by extremely rich individuals whose financial and political interests intertwine with the Conservative Party - and so their editorial output simply reflects the interests of their wealthy owners, rather than the wider public who the media are supposed to represent.

For the BBC - a publicly-funded organisation whose official guidelines commit them to standing up for the public interest, for “fundamental democratic principles”, and for impartiality - to so brazenly ignore such a clearly massive public interest story which cuts right to the heart of our democracy is incredibly troubling.

It’s sad to say it, but much of the BBC’s political output is now barely distinguishable from the Putin-pandering on Russia Today or the preposterous servility of North Korean State TV - and the longer their pro-establishment bias goes unchallenged and unresolved, the further Britain will fall as a country.

(Reporting and writing by Tom D. Rogers, editing by Jessica Miller and Michael O'Sullivan)

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