‘It exhausted the fact checkers’: PM’s election launch speech reviewed

Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives speech in London's Downing Street after an audience with Queen El

Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives speech in London's Downing Street after an audience with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, which marked the formal start of the General Election. Photo : Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Two LBC presenters were forced to correct a number of claims made by Boris Johnson in his election launch speech.

Host James O'Brien and political editor Theo Usherwood went over the prime minister's claims on immigration policy, Ofsted and the Salisbury attacks along other statements made in his speech officially kicking off the election campaign on Wednesday.

O'Brien and Usherwood start off by noting that Johnson began his speech by claiming he didn't want an election, although the Conservatives actually made four attempts to have an election.

"[There were] three votes under the Fixed Term Parliament Act and one which eventually succeeded with the Early Election Bill to override that," Usherwood said.

O'Brien added: "The second reading of the Withdrawal Agreement passed. It was his objection to the timetable that parliament wanted that led to the election. It was entirely his desire and his decision to pursue that."

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In his speech Johnson also claimed Labour "want to abolish Ofsted, which stops children being bullied in schools".

While Labour have said they want to replace Ofsted, O'Brien notes "Johnson is suggesting thy want to abolish it and not replace it".

Usherwood said another point where Johnson had misconstrued Corbyn was in the wake of the Salisbury attack, as Johnson alleged Corbyn sided with Putin.

"It is true that Jeremy Corbyn's response at the dispatch box following the Salisbury attacks in March last year was to that we should provide samples for Russia to test," Usherwood said.

O'Brien added: "It was a ridiculous intervention at the time, but remind us if it's Jeremy Corbyn or Boris Johnson who is sitting on a report from the Intelligence and Security Select Committee examining Russian infiltration into British politics, despite the fact that the security services say there is nothing to stop it being released."

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