Read: Letter in full telling Boris Johnson off over his £350m NHS Brexit claim from UK statistics authority's Sir David Norgrove

Lynsey Barber
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Boris Johnson And Gisela Stuart Aboard The Leave Campaign Bus
The famous £350m claim has been called a "misuse of statistics" (Source: Getty)

Boris Johnson has been slapped down by the UK's statistics watchdog after claiming that the UK would benefit from an extra £350m a week after leaving the EU that could be used by the NHS.

Read more: Boris accused of "back-seat driving" Brexit by top minister

The controversial claim was famously made originally by the Leave campaign during last year's referendum, plastered across the side of a red double-decker bus.

Here's the letter in full sent to Johnson by Sir David Norgrove, the head of the UK Statistics Authority.

Dear Foreign Secretary,

I am surprised and disappointed that you have chosen to repeat the figure pf £350m per week in connection with the amount that might be available for extra public spending when we leave the European Union.

This confuses gross and net contributions (1). It also assumes that payments made currently to the UK by the EU, including for example for the support of agriculture and scientific research, will not be paid by the UK government when we leave.

It is a clear misuse of official statistics.

Yours Sincerely

Sir David Norgrove

​(1) For further detail on official statistics relating to the UK’s financial contributions to the EU, see Sir Andrew Dilnot’s letter of April 2016 to the Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP regarding UK contributions to the EU.

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