Boris Johnson has been slated for trying to claim Brexit is to thank for the early success of the UK’s vaccine rollout.
In his speech to Tory conference, the prime minister claimed UK used “new freedoms” to accelerate Britain’s distribution of jabs, and promised to use “Brexit freedoms” to “do things differently”.
But lawyer and filmmaker Peter Stefanovic claimed the vaccination programme’s success “had nothing to do with Brexit”.
And he used a clip of MHRA head June Raine, in which she stated UK’s supply of jabs has been enabled by Europe.
Raine said: “We have been able to authorise the supply of this vaccine using provisions under European law, which exist until 1 January.
“So our speed, our progress, has been totally dependent on the availability of data in our rolling review and a rigorous assessment and independent advice we have received.
“I hope that clarifies the point about the European relationship.”
Hospitals, nurses, wage growth
Stefanovic also called out Johnson’s insistence that the Tories have delivered 48 new hospitals and 50,000 more nurses, a promise made in the Conservatives’ 2019 election manifesto.
He remembered when, in August, it emerged that the government ordered NHS hospitals to describe building work on existing sites as “new hospitals” – and when Johnson admitted to Sophy Ridge on Sky News that of 50,000 nurses, only 31,000 have actually been new.
Johnson also claimed that after more than a decade of stagnation, wages are going up.
But Stefanovic pointed out that throughout the past decade of Tory rule, Britain has seen “soaring in-work poverty and literally the worst decade of wage growth since the Napoleonic War.”
Stefanovic said: “The energy bills are rising, food prices are rising, taxes are rising, inflation is rising.
“The most recent rise in the national living wage was the lowest increase since the policy was introduced.
“Most public sector pay is frozen, and a hike in national insurance contributions means our NHS workers are now paying for their own pay rise, which was already a real terms pay cut.”
He added: “Even Larry the cat knows the figures he relies on are the consequence of distortions in the statistics from lockdown and furlough.
“Any wage rises seen in certain occupations will likely be gobbled up by soaring prices across the economy. It’s just his latest con.”
Stefanovic concluded by showing a brief BBC clip in which data showed that average weekly real wages which take into account inflation fell from £491 in April to £488 in July.
During his conference speech in Manchester, Johnson also claimed that the UK is heading towards a “high-wage” and “low-tax” economy.
He said: “That’s the direction in which the country is going now – towards a high-wage, high-skilled, high-productivity and, yes, thereby a low-tax economy. That is what the people of this country need and deserve.
“Yes, it will take time, and sometimes it will be difficult, but that is the change that people voted for in 2016.”
Peter’s other video about the PM’s lies has got over 37 million views