Health expert brands Johnson's 'extra £350m for NHS' claim 'misleading untruth'

PUBLISHED: 12:57 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:57 16 January 2018

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson

$image.copyright

Boris Johnson's comment that the Leave campaign under-estimated when it claimed Brexit would allow an extra £350m to be spent on the NHS weekly has been branded "ridiculous".

Leading health expert Professor Sir Michael Marmot said the Brexit campaign's highly controversial claim has already been confirmed "a lie".

The academic also said the history books would remember Mr Johnson as "one of the best guests on Have I Got News For You".

The foreign secretary claimed the official Vote Leave campaign could have used a higher figure as the UK's gross contribution would rise to £438m by 2021, the last year of an expected transition period.

According to the Guardian, he claimed Britain's contribution to the EU budget was already at £362m a week.

Mr Johnson told the newspaper: "There was an error on the side of the bus. We grossly under-estimated the sum over which we would be able to take back control."

He added: "As and when the cash becomes available - and it won't until we leave - the NHS should be at the very top of the list."

Speaking at a press conference in London about reducing health inequalities, Sir Michael was asked what he made of Mr Johnson's claim.

"I think, when the history of the 21st century is written, Boris Johnson will go down as one of the best guests on Have I Got News For You.

"It's a ridiculous thing to say. It's been pointed out by the statistics authority, the national statistics authority that that is totally misleading," he said.

Sir Michael added: "He does say 'gross'. Gross is a good word to use actually ... but that's not the relevant bit."

The academic said the claim has been shown to be "a lie", adding: "It's an untruth. It's misleading. I'm not sure what other word to use."

The claim first attracted criticism during the referendum campaign, when Mr Johnson was travelling around the country in a Vote Leave bus emblazoned with the slogan "We send the EU £350 million a week - let's fund our NHS instead".

Also speaking at the press conference, David Taylor, emeritus professor of pharmaceutical and public health policy at UCL, said people who voted Brexit want a well-funded health service and it would be "tragic" if they were being misled.

READ MORE: Gross dishonesty: Why Boris' latest £350m claim is an admission of guilt

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £13

Support The New European's vital role as a voice for the 48%

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

  • Become a friend of The New European for a contribution of £48. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish)
  • Become a partner of The New European for a contribution of £240. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook
  • Become a patron of The New European for a contribution of £480. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook and an A3 print of The New European front cover of your choice, signed by Editor Matt Kelly

By proceeding, you agree to the New Europeans supporters club Terms & Conditions which can be found here.



Supporter Options

Mention Me in The New European



If Yes, Name to appear in The New European



Latest Articles

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Grassroots anti-Brexit campaigners are increasing the pressure on politicians ahead of a series of important votes this year. Here is a list of the events organised across Britain in the coming weeks and months.

Trending

Newsletter Sign Up

The New European weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy