The UK's top statistician has blasted Brexit campaigners for sticking by misleading claims that the UK sends £350m a week to the EU saying it undermines trust in official statistics.
Vote Leave have plastered the £350m figure across campaign literature and their battle bus. Email signatures of officials at the organisation even declare:
"We send £350m to the EU every week. After we Vote Leave we can spend this money on our priorities like the NHS."
But the UK Statistics Authority has launched its own campaign against the body for their use of the figure, after determining the figure was "potentially misleading".
Read more: How much do we contribute to the EU budget?
The £350m figure counts only the UK's "gross contribution", not accounting for the UK's substantial rebate and public and private sector investments made by the EU in the UK.
Today, the fight has been ramped up as Andrew Dilnot, chair of the organisation, said he was "disappointed to note that there continue to be suggestions that the UK contributes £350m to the EU each week".
"As we have made clear, the UK's contribution to the EU is paid after the publication of the rebate. We have also pointed out that there are payments received by the UK public and private sectors that are relevant here.
"The continued use of a gross figure in contexts that imply it is a net figure is misleading and undermines trust in official statistics."
Dilnot also reasserted that the figure is not even accurate as a statement of money "going" to the EU before coming back, since the £4.4bn budget rebate never leaves the UK.
This week the ONS released its own guide to figures it believes would be more appropriate, suggesting the figure of £9.9bn a year — or £190m a week — should be used.