Boris Johnson resignation: Did the outgoing prime minister meet his pledges?

by | Aug 31, 2022 | Politics

By Reality Check teamBBC NewsImage source, Getty ImagesDuring his last week in office, Boris Johnson has been talking about his record in government – highlighting policies on police recruitment and broadband.He became prime minister and won a landslide victory in 2019 and made a series of pledges to voters. Delivering on them was made harder by the Covid pandemic, but how did he get on? Pledge: 20,000 more policeThe Conservatives promised this for England and Wales by March 2023.Latest figures, up to 30 June 2022, show an extra 13,790 police officers recruited. That means the government is two-thirds of the way there with one year to go.But that rise still hasn’t made up for police numbers falling by 20,545 between March 2010 and March 2019 – under Conservative-led governments.Pledge: 50,000 more nurses and 6,000 more GPsThe Conservatives promised this for England by March 2025. Latest figures show 319,846 full-time equivalent NHS nurses and health visitors in May 2022. That is up 23,753 since December 2019, leaving 26,247 posts to fill.On GPs, there were 35,257 full-time equivalents in post in July 2022. That’s up by just 738 since the end of December 2019.If you exclude locums (doctors who temporarily fill a rota gap) and trainees, GP numbers have actually decreased by 314 since December 2019.In November 2021, the then Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “I’m not going to pretend we’re on track when we’re not.”Pledge: Build 40 new hospitals This 2019 pledge was to be met “over the next 10 years”. In August 2021, the government came up with several definitions for what it said constituted a “new” hospital: A whole new hospital on a new site or current NHS landA major new clinical building on an existing site or a new wing of an existing hospitalA major refurbishment and alteration of all but building frame or main structureIn December 2021, analysis by BBC Reality Check , found that of the 40 hospital projects announced by the government:22 were rebuilding projects12 were new wings within existing hospitalsthree involved rebuilding non-urgent care hospitals three were entirely new hospitalsImage source, Getty ImagesWhen asked for an update, on 7 June 2022, a Department of Health spokesperson told us that one of the 40 hospitals “opened for patients last year and a further six are in construction”. Pledge: 300,000 homes a year This manifesto pledge was to be met by “the mid-2020s”.In 2019-20, there were 242,700 net additional dwellings, which fell to 216,490 in 2020-21.Net additional dwellings includes houses converted to flats, commercial buildings switching to domestic use, as well as new builds. It also factors in demolished houses.The prime minister was asked about the pledge on 9 June 2022 and said: “I can’t give you a cast iron guarantee that we’re going to get to a number in a particular year.”Pledge: Get Brexit doneThis was achieved in a literal sense as the UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. Britain departed from the EU’s single market and customs union 11 months later, after agreeing a basic free trade deal with the EU.But if this election slogan implied Brexit would be done and dusted, this has clearly not happened. A huge amount remains unresolved, from Northern Ireland to financial services.A large number of trade deals have been signed around the world (most to replace the ones the UK already had as an EU member) but a deal with the US hasn’t happened.The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), which makes economic judgements for the government, predicts that leaving …

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