Analysis Exclusive

Excl (video): Boris Johnson told Marr he opposed Labour sentencing/release laws in 2003 and 2008. He lied

Tory leader’s ‘alternative facts’ do not stand up to scrutiny

Boris Johnson insisting on Sunday that he opposed Labour bills in 2003 and 2008

Boris Johnson has a long record of dishonesty. He lied outright during his appearance on Sunday’s Marr programme, telling viewers that the number of UK children in poverty had gone down by 400,000 when in fact it had risen by half a million.

But that was far from Johnson’s only untruth. In his desperation to get off the hook of responsibility for the London Bridge murderer’s release, Johnson tried to blame the Labour Party’s legislation – and insisted that he had voted against both the 2003 and 2008 Acts passed by Labour.

That insistence that he had always opposed early release was still being repeated by the BBC in its flagship 9pm news this evening.

But Johnson lied:


Johnson’s claim that he had voted against Labour’s 2003 Criminal Justice Act (CJA) was correct – at least technically. Following his party’s ‘whip’, he had attempted to defeat the Criminal Justice Bill.

But Labour’s CJA brought in new law to increase the number of offences that received long sentences – and to impose life sentences on some offenders whose offence might not otherwise attract a long sentence, on the grounds of public protection.

However, he voted for a number of unsuccessful amendments to weaken the Act’s provisions, showing that the Tories’ objections to the bill centred on impingements on liberties, not on risk to the public.

For example, Johnson supported an amendment to change the wording of the Act to remove a provision that allowed ‘qualifying offences’ to be tried again if new evidence came to light – and limit offences that could be retried specifically to murder and rape.

In other words, under the amendment Boris Johnson supported, if the London Bridge killer had been aquitted of the plot for which he was jailed, even if compelling new evidence came to light he could not have been brought to trial again.


But Johnson’s claim about opposing the 2008 Criminal Justice and Immigration Act (CJI) is wholly false.

When the 2008 bill was voted on in the House of Commons – in January and May 2008 – Johnson did not vote at all, either for or against it.

The 2008 Act was the legislation that brought in early release to ease prison overcrowding – the law that Johnson claims he found utterly repellent.

Yet he did not participate in the vote.

By the time the bill came to the later stages of its passage through Parliament in May, Johnson was not participating in any Commons business – because he was already Mayor of London.

But even in the early states of the process, in January of 2008, Johnson’s name is conspicuous by its absence from the CJI votes. The only Johnsons involved in the votes – either as voting MP or as ‘teller’ – were Labour’s Diana Johnson and Alan Johnson.

No doubt Johnson was busy with the mayoral campaign, having been selected as the Tory candidate in September 2007.

But it certainly means that his parliamentary opposition to the 2008 Act that he was so keen to blame for the London Bridge murderer’s release simply never happened.

And the 2003 Act he voted against was the legislation that toughened the sentencing regime – while amendments Johnson supported would have weakened it.

The Conservative party’s headquarters was asked for comment. Nobody responded.


It was not only Johnson’s dishonesty that was exposed on Sunday – it was also his cowardice.

Johnson didn’t fight his corner and attempt to justify his behaviour and decisions, nor accept responsibility as the leader of the party on whose watch the killer was released.

Instead, he was so eager to duck responsibility and fling blame that he simply made shit up again – either hoping the UK people wouldn’t find out, or not caring.

For Boris Johnson, such behaviour comes as standard. But to resort to it concerning the deaths and injury of British citizens, two days after the atrocity took place, is beyond contempt.

He is unfit to bag shopping, let alone be Prime Minister.

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  1. Apologies for changing topic…… well, sort of:

    I watched University Challenge earlier as I usually do (and actually knew the answer to one of the questions!), and then noticed that Panorama was about to start on BBC1 AND that it was about Prince Andrew etc, so I thought I’d check it out. So anyway, I’d been watching it for about thirty-five minutes or so and Darrahg Macintyre – the Panorama reporter – was saying something about Jeffrey Epstein, and mentioned his name as such, and it was about THREE seconds later that I did a double take and realised he had pronounced it Epsteen, EXACTLY the way Jeremy did in the leaders debate. Macintyre had probably, by that stage, mentiond Epstein twenty, thirty times or more, but I hadn’t noticed that he was pronouncing it Epsteen until then!

    Needless to say, from then onwards I was paying attention whenever he referred to Epstein, and he continued to pronounce it that way. And then, perhaps ten minutes or so later, there was a clip with one of thhe lawyers for the victims (of Jeffrey Epstein), and HE pronounced it Epsteen as well! And then shortly after that there was a clip from the Newsnight interview with Prince Andrew, and Yes!, Kirsty Wark pronounced it Epsteen TOO, and shortly after that there was a clip with the woman who was photographed with Prince Andrew with his arm round her waist when she was a young lady AND claims he slept with her, and YES!, she too pronounces it Epsteen.

    Needless to say, the reason they did so is because they wanted him – Epstein – to sound more Jewish than he actually was because they are obviously anti-semites, just like Jeremy!

    I didn’t watch the Newsnight interview, but I thought it must now be a couple of weeks or so since it aired – and I was fairly certain it was before the ITV leaders debate between JC and BJ – so I did a search to ascertain when it was, and it was on November 16th, just a few days before the ITV debate, and I have no doubt whatsoever that Jeremy watched it and THAT is where he picked up on the fact that it was being pronounced Epsteen (as opposed to Epstein, as with The Beatles manager Brian Epstein).

    It’s somewhat ironic that Panorama, having done a Massive hatchet job on Jeremy and the Labour Party a few moths ago, should inadvertently come to his rescue and in effect expose the ludicrous accusation made against Jeremy for pronouncing it Epsteen. And if you weren’t aware of it, at the time of the leaders debate, David Baddiel – in relation to the way Jeremy pronounced it – twweeted ‘Every Jew watching noticed’ how Jeremy pronounced it, so if you have a twitter account, could you tweet him and ask him if every Jew watching the Panorama program tonight noticed if everyone who took part in the program pronounced it Epsteen!

    1. The whole trope is so stupid that it’s probably better to just ignore it – and well-off Tory media shills like Baddiel.

      The pronounciation thing is about the particularities of the German language, not Jewishness.

      1. No RH, we shouldn’t ignore it, and we should be sharing the fact ALL over social media AND exposing it for the falsehood and the outrageous smear/slur on Jeremy that it was.

      2. RH like you sayi..its nonsense.In the 60s I used to visit the sea front with my girlfriend in Brighton.Her”Nan”as she called her usually sat on the benches across from Regency Square looking out to sea across the English channel.Every Saturday these old ladys sat there and watched life walk by.We always asked the ladys where mrs Levy was and some would say mrs Levi has gone up to the stein,Some would say levy and some would say levi.And would say stein and some steen for the top end of Brighton seafront All of the old Jewish ladys came from the East end of London and depending on where the famiys originally fled from whether it was eastern Europe or Portugal and Spain mainly oriental jews,the pronunciation of the words are different depndent on the part of Europe.And one thing for sure was that these old ladys would have always voted Labour and would have been shocked at the treatment of the Labour leader.especially when it was always the natural home for refuge from people fleeing oppression of poggromes in europe or famines in Ireland….Labour to be accused of racism is absolute nonsense and should have been treated as such..

  2. So just to be clear Joseph, are you in effect saying that we SHOULDN’T bother sharing the fact all over social media – and beyond – that it was a falsehood and an outrageous smear against Jeremy?

    And if so, why.

    1. The headline to the Daily Mail coverage of it was the following:

      ‘Jewish campaigners accuse Jeremy Corbyn of ‘trying to underscore’ dead paedophile ‘Jeffrey Epstein’s Jewishness’ as Labour leader’s pronunciation of ‘Epschteen’ blows up into ANOTHER full-blown anti-Semitism row’

      And guess WHO these so-called Jewish campaigners WERE? Does the Campaign Against Antisemitism ring a bell! Yes, and they ALSO mention David Baddiel’s tweet!

      PS The Sun’s ‘coverage’ actually revolves around the David Baddiel tweet. I’ll see if I can find it again.

  3. I’ve tried every combination of words I can think of to find the Sun’s ‘coverage’, but it’s not coming up in the results. Anyway…….

    The following is a clip from an article on the CAAs website re Epstein:

    A spokesman for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “To our nation’s shame, we have been exposed to the spectacle of an antisemitic leader lying on television to millions about his Party’s record on dealing with antisemitism, while busily filling his Party’s top spots and coveted seats with those who will perpetuate antisemitism for another generation to come. In this dire situation for Jews, we call on all decent British people to stand together with us against antisemitism.

    “Jeremy Corbyn’s risible attempt to deceive viewers about his handling of Labour’s antisemitism crisis was compounded by his bizarre and inconsistent pronunciation of the Jewish surname of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, referring to him at one point as ‘ep-shtein’. Mr Corbyn’s abhorrent record on Jews certainly raises questions as to whether the Labour leader was attempting to underscore Mr Epstein’s Jewishness.”


    And the main thrust of their article was a falsehood as well:


    A handful of people clapped initially when the question was put to him, but many more clapped in agreement with what Jeremy then said. The headline does in fact contain THREE falsehoods – ie 1. That the audience laughed at Jeremy; 2. That Jeremy lied; and 3. That there is an anti-semitism crisis in the Labour Party. And on another point re the debate, shouldn’t the NEXT question have been to Boris Johnson asking him about the comments he made about ‘bank robbers’ and ‘letterboxes’ and ‘water-melon smiles’ etc? Of COURSE it should have been! But it WASN’T!

    NB And given that it was in fact Johnson who mispronounced Epstein’s name, was he actually trying to make it sound like Jeffery Epstein was LESS Jewish than he actually was!

  4. Apologies – for so many posts – but I just wanted to point out that Jeremy did NOT pronounce it Ep-schtein, as the Mail and the CAA and the Sun claim (and others, no doubt), he pronounced it Epsteen. Anyway, I eventually found the Sun article!:

    ‘EVERY JEW NOTICED’ David Baddiel tweets ‘every Jew noticed that’ after Corbyn mispronounces Jeffrey Epstein’s name ‘to make it more Jewish’

    1. Re Mail etc, that should of course have read Ep-schteen. It’s late! (or early, depending how you look at it).

      1. Many, many, many apologies, but I just went on to iplayer with the intention of watching the Panorama program again AND counting up the number of times Epstein’s name is/was mentioned and pronounced Epsteen AND how many different people throughout the program did so. Anyway, it had already been mentioned once by Macintyre – the Panorama reporter – and the NEXT time it was mentioned it was by Epstein HIMSELF, and he pronounces it Epsteen! It happens at round-about 4 mins 25secs,in some footage in which he is obviously about to be questioned about whatever.

        So anyway, I don’t think there’s any need for me to check out how many times his name is mentioned etc. BUT, I think it goes without saying that Boris Johnson must have pronounced it Epstein (in the ITV leaders debate), and what would be very, very interesting is if someone could find some footage of Johnson speaking about Jeffrey Epstein (prior to the leaders debate) and in which he pronounces his name Epsteen.

        Yes, like the ‘head-bowing’ episode re the Queen’s speech when Theresa May bowed her head as she came in to the chamber when she didn’t have to, and Jeremy was panned for ‘disrespecting’ the Queen (the Daily Express headline was ‘National Disgrace’) for NOT doing so when he didn’t have to, I strongly suspect that THIS was another set up, and Johnson knew perfectly well that Jeffery Epstein’s surname was pronounced Epsteen.

        Anyway, here’s a link to the Panorama program, but you’ll probably be asked to sign in etc first:

      2. SORRY…… Correction: It was in fact Emily Maitlis who interviewed Prince Andrew on Newsnight (it’s only availabble for another 13 days, should you happen to want to watch it).

    2. david baddiel….he still drawing breath? Thought he’d carked it a while ago; or maybe it was wishful thinking on my part.

      As funny as a fire in an orphanage, baddiel was to frank skinner what andrew ridgeley was to george michael…

      Imagine being stiuck in a lift with him & ben elton?!? Oy, gevalt! (Or does that make me look like I’m trying too hard to sound jewish?)

      1. Enough already! No, I recall Ben Elton being quite amusing, and his book (I don’t know if he wrote any others) was quite brilliant – ie Stark – and is definitely the way to go.

        PS I thought I’d just quickly check on Amazon to see if it was available and what the reviews were like, and low-and-behold, he’s written umpteen books, which no doubt explains why we haven’t seen anything of him for about the past twenty-five years!

  5. Tuesday morning, and more proven lies emerge from that interview.
    Tuesday. The interview was Sunday morning.

    Fact checkers can’t even keep up. BBC Fact check questioned 5 statements, all found to be false. 5! And that doesn’t cover this one.

  6. Try reading Ben Elton’s latest book Identity Crisis characters called Bunter Jolly, Plantaganet Greased Hogg and Guppy Toad I’m sure you can all guess who he is referring to .

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