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Boris Johnson 'misused' figures with £350m Brexit claim, United Kingdom statistics chief says

Boris Johnson 'misused' figures with £350m Brexit claim, United Kingdom statistics chief says

Johnson said Brexit is Britain's chance to catch the wave of new technology, and to put the country in the lead as a "tech powerhouse" as one of four big tech investment areas of the world.

He wrote: "Once we have settled our accounts, we will take back control of roughly £350m per week".

The figure had been a central part of the campaign's "let's take back control" message, with suggestions that the money could instead be used to fund state healthcare.

Sources last night claimed the Foreign Secretary would have a showdown meeting with the PM in NY as the pair jet to the United Nations General Assembly in NY.

The watchdog went on to rebuke the group for continuing to use the "misleading" figure during the referendum campaign, saying it was "disappointed" by the approach.

"We would not expect to pay for access to their markets any more than they would expect to pay for access to ours", he said.

"Vince Cable, MP for the Liberal Democrats, said the "£350m lie" had been exposed by the statistics office.

The Foreign secretary has desmarado with its own manifesto of 4,000 words in pages of influential conservative daily The Daily Telegraph, become for a day in something like The Boris Telegraph.

Johnson said the European Union's plan "to construct what is effectively a single polity out of 27 countries" - set out in some detail by the President of the European Commission recently - "is simply not for Britain".

But he has been accused of "backseat driving" by Home Secretary Amber Rudd over the Brexit blueprint put forward in the column.

In Sunday's Observer, unnamed Conservative politicians said Johnson should be sacked for speaking out so strongly on Brexit just days before Theresa May delivers a Brexit speech in Florence.

What we've got is Theresa May managing that process - and I'm going to make sure, as far as I'm concerned and the rest of the Cabinet is concerned, we help her do that.

Asked if what Johnson had done was backseat driving, she replied: "Yes, you could call it backseat driving".

He said the number quoted did not include the rebate that Britain receives from the European Union, not did it include payments from Brussels to support agriculture and scientific research.

Controversially, Mr Johnson says that foreigners could be prevented from buying property in the UK.

The Home Secretary said she did not think Mr Johnson's article was a leadership bid and said her Cabinet colleague added "enthusiasm, energy, and sometimes entertainment".

"What we've got is Theresea May managing that process, she's driving the vehicle to continue the allegory, and I'm going to make sure as far as I'm concerned and the rest of the cabinet is concerned we help her do that".


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