35,000 words describing how Boris Johnson was a serial misleader

Ray Poynter
Profile image of Ray Poynter

Ray Poynter

2 mins

The House of Commons’ Privileges Committee has issued its report. It found that Boris Johnson, when he was Prime Minister of the UK, had mislead the House of Commons repeatedly and deliberately. His untruths related to the way that during the pandemic he repeatedly broke the COVID rules (the rules that he and his Government had created).

When Boris Johnson read the report, he resigned from Parliament before the report and his suspension were published, and before the MPs could vote to suspend him.

I created a word cloud from the 35,000 words to help me get to the gist of the report. The terms used, such as rules and guidance and fixed penalty notices, locate the text in the context of rules. The references to civil servants and House of Commons locate the text as not being in the ‘outside world’, but centred on the Westminster bubble. Social distancing and Covid rules remind us of the grim pandemic times.

A word cloud generated by Word Cloud Plus of the key phrases from the report
Word Cloud Plus

However, the heart of the matter was the very unusual word in the context of an official report, i.e. ‘mislead’. Clicking on the phrase ‘Johnson mislead’ leads to shocking examples of what Boris Johnson had done. (Note, in the word cloud all references to misled and misleading were converted to mislead to consolidate their appearance in the Cloud).

  • “Mr Johnson misled the House when he said on 1 December 2021 that all guidance was followed completely”
  • “Mr Johnson misled the House when he failed to tell the House about his own knowledge of the gatherings where the rules or guidance had been broken”
  • “We additionally find that Mr Johnson misled the House when he purported to correct the record on 25 May 2022”

Note these are just three examples of the comments in the report, from the word cloud. In total, the word mislead (or misled or misleading) appears 78 times in the report, a truly shocking indictment of what Boris Johnson had done.

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You can access the full report by clicking here.