Tag Archives: mark easton

Clegg a hypocrite? Nick’s critics are “playing the man, not the ball” says BBC’s Mark Easton

The right-wing press was today in full self-righteous cry, accusing Nick Clegg of ‘hypocrisy’ for seeking to ensure fairness on internships when he’s stated in interviews before he benefited from family connections. Their argument is comprehensively refuted by the BBC’s home editor Mark Easton, who points out here quite how spurious such attacks are:

The charge is that he is a hypocrite – trying to deny to others what he enjoyed himself. But does the accusation really hold water? Are we saying that no politician can ever pursue reforms to a system because he or she is a consequence of

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Watchdog says Shadow Home Secretary ‘likely to damage’ trust in statistics

Yesterday I wrote about Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling’s extraordinarily twisted use of statistics to try to justify part of the Conservatives’ ‘Broken Britain’ narrative.

Today the BBC’s Mark Easton, who broke the original story, has the news that Chris Grayling has just been sent a sharp letter from Parliament’s statistics watchdog, informing him that his mis-use of statistics about violent crime is ‘likely to damage public trust in official statistics’. The Chairman of the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA), Sir Michael Scholar, says he does ‘not wish to become involved in political controversy’,  but ‘must take issue’ with Grayling’s comments ‘yesterday about violent crime statistics’.

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Conservatives’ use of crime statistics ‘selective and mendacious’

This morning’s Today programme provided another of those ‘mustn’t miss’ moments, as presenter Evan Davis  took the Conservatives’ Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling to task over the party’s misleading use of crime statistics.

Last week Mark Easton, the BBC’s Home Affairs editor, had asked ‘Are the Tories being honest with their claims on violent crime’:

Last week, David Cameron told me that one reason he could justify the phrase “broken society” was because of “significant” increases in violent crime, notably gun and knife crime in Britain.  When I challenged him to produce the evidence, his party press office sent the BBC a list of statistics. It emerges that the only way the Conservative leader can back up his claims is to ignore the klaxon warning attached to the statistics following changes in the way police record violent incidents in England and Wales.

Tory Central Office e-mailed this claim to me: ‘Violent crime has increased from 615,985 offences in 1998-9 to 1,034,972 in 2008-9, an increase of 68 per cent’. The document cited, however, includes this massive caveat: ‘The National Crime Recording standard was introduced in April 2002. Figures before and after that date are not directly comparable’. And yet, that is exactly what Mr Cameron appears to do.

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