Political debate is about sharing facts - not making stuff up

A sign is held in at an anti-Brexit protest branding the £350m a week Vote Leave claim 'bollocks'. (

A sign is held in at an anti-Brexit protest branding the £350m a week Vote Leave claim 'bollocks'. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA). - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Readers react to Boris Johnson's attempt to avoid accountability for false claims made during the EU referendum campaign.

What astounds me about Boris Johnson's court summons over accusations of misconduct while in public office is that his defence appears to be "I was campaigning".

For any chance to reconcile division in our society and restore some faith in the political system, a good place to start would be a debate in the House of Commons making it criminally punishable for politicians to knowingly lie or make false representations in their campaigns. Currently, people just accept and assume that politicians are lying or at best telling half-truths in elections - this is sad and depressing. Good faith has to be restored to politics.

John Booker, London SW4

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Michael Gove's defence of Boris Johnson in the face of the latter's court summons - "we should not try to criminalise free speech" - perpetuates the public's mistrust in politicians. Political debate is about sharing facts, drawing conclusions and expressing opinions, not about making stuff up.

Tony Howarth, London SW3

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Re: The BBC's proposal to televise the Tory leadership debate. This is not the USA and we are not electing a president.

By hosting this debate the BBC is giving unprecedented air time to the Tory Party. It cannot be argued to be in the public interest as the public have no input or casting vote.

Ian Auchterlonie, Dundee

Only the Tories would elect a clown like Boris Johnson to put an end to a circus.

Frank Richardson

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