Monday, 25 February 2013

Does the Telegraph ever check Boris Johnson's columns?

It was this big!
Boris Johnson likes to pose as something a history expert, and has fronted a number of books and programmes on the subject.

Unfortunately nobody seems to bother checking any of his historical claims.

Take this howler in his Daily Telegraph column today:

"Whatever happens on Thursday, it will be a victory for the Coalition that the Conservatives lead, and a defeat for Miliband; and if Maria Hutchings pulls it off – the first Conservative by-election victory, in government, for more than 30 years – it will be stupendous."

And stupendous it would be, if it were actually true.

You see the Conservative party have won not one, but EIGHT by-elections while in government over the past thirty years.

What they haven't done in over thirty years is gain a seat at a by-election, while in government. The last time they did that was in 1982.

Perhaps Boris had meant to write that. Perhaps he simply didn't care to check.

Either way, shouldn't somebody at the Telegraph check his columns from time to time? 

I mean it was only last week that he got the name of the Housing Minister wrong.

Other recent columns have been riddled with inaccuracies and falsehoods.

As Mayor he has repeatedly made falsehoods about cycling deaths, council tax, and much much more.

There are two types of politicians. The first type get their facts wrong. The second type, don't care whether they get their facts wrong.

Boris Johnson is unfortunately one of the latter.

-UPDATE- See also this recent response to another dodgily researched column.

Facts eh? Who needs them?


Anonymous said...

I have it on very good authority that he gets some City Hall staff to do most of the work for his columns. Which should be a scandal in itself, really.

AdamB said...

I would be if true. Please email me at