Boris Johnson caught out over Priti Patel claims of a ‘violent crime wave’ if Labour win

PUBLISHED: 13:26 09 December 2019 | UPDATED: 13:26 09 December 2019

Boris Johnson couldn't back up Priti Patel's alarming 'crime wave' claims in the event of a Labour government. Picture: LBC / Aaron Chown/PA

Boris Johnson couldn't back up Priti Patel's alarming 'crime wave' claims in the event of a Labour government. Picture: LBC / Aaron Chown/PA

LBC / Aaron Chown/PA

Boris Johnson was unable to explain the basis for alarming claims by Priti Patel that a Labour government would lead to 52 more murders a year, prompting his interviewer to say: “She made them up, hasn’t she?”

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Speaking on Nick Ferrari's LBC show, Johnson was reminded of his home secretary's claim in the Daily Telegraph that a Labour government would lead to 52 more murders a year, 150 more sexual assaults and 8,596 more weapons on the streets.

Host Ferrari asked Johnson how these figures - which a Telegraph editorial says was based on a Conservative party analysis - were arrived at.

As Johnson tried to give a canned non-answer on putting more police out on the streets, Ferrari pressed him on Patel's specific figures. "You're a journalist. I'm a journalist. Where'd she get those numbers from?" he asked.

"I'm sorry Nick, you must forgive me, I haven't been able to .." said Johnson.

"She's made them up, prime minister, hasn't she?"

MORE: Former Tory Jeffrey Archer slams Telegraph's election coverage as 'prejudiced' and 'unbelievable'

Johnson responded by saying: "What Priti is getting at is the reality that unless you have a tough approach on law and order, unless you back the police, unless you're able to put more police out there in a consistent way, and give them the powers they need - and you were talking earlier on in your show about stop and search - you will find knife crime continues to be a problem. You'll find that serious youth violence continues to be a problem, and that gun crime is a problem."

"But these figures are Project Fear," said Ferrari, quoting Patel's claimed figures again. "There's nothing to back up these figures and you've let them out on your watch [with] your home secretary. Unless she's Mystic Priti, there's no truth at all."

"She's making a point about crime figures and the need to have robust policing, and I back that idea all the way."

"But with nothing to back up those figures, it would appear," said Ferrari.

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