THREE claims made by Cabinet ministers at the Conservative party conference have been found to be false by fact checkers.

The event in Manchester has been making headlines throughout the week, with a number of bizarre claims being made by top Tories in Rishi Sunak’s Government.

But strange assertions about 15-minute cities, a meat tax and inflation made by ministers throughout the event have been found to be false.

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Full Fact said their findings were “deeply disappointing” and they had seen a trend emerge where politicians have “made up claims about policies or initiatives without putting them into context”.

15-minute cities conspiracy

We told earlier this week how Scottish Tory MSP and junior minister Andrew Bowie was condemned for spreading a conspiracy theory around 15-minute cities, an urban planning initiative.

Bowie was defending Transport Secretary Mark Harper’s speech to the Tory party conference on October 2, where he claimed he was “calling time on the misuse of so-called 15-minute cities”.

Harper said: “What we shouldn’t tolerate, is the idea that local councils can decide how often you go to the shops, and that they can ration who uses the roads and when, and that they police it all with CCTV."

The National:

Full Fact said that while some councils had introduced controversial proposals to introduce traffic restrictions, they were not linked to 15-minute city proposals.

They added that there was “no evidence” that councils were attempting to place restrictions on how often residents can go to the shops or which services they can access, as claimed by Bowie (above) during a car crash BBC interview.

“Unevidenced claims about 15-minute cities and how these would work have the potential to mislead the public,” Full Fact said.

“It is important that government ministers ensure claims they make can be backed up with evidence. If a minister makes a false or misleading claim, they should take responsibility for ensuring it is appropriately corrected.”

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Labour back a meat tax

Another claim found to have no evidence is that Labour is “relaxed” about taxing meat, an assertion made by Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero Claire Coutinho.

Coutinho suggested that Labour “seem so relaxed” about taxing meat, a non-existent policy Rishi Sunak referenced in his now infamous speech where he paused a number of net-zero policies.

Unsurprisingly, neither Coutinho (below) nor her department responded to requests for clarification from Full Fact to provide evidence for her claim.

The National:

The charity found no evidence of Labour supporting the policy, and the party confirmed it is not on their agenda.

‘Inflation is a form of taxation’

Both the Prime Minister and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt have made a number of claims regarding the impact of cutting inflation this week.

On Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, on the first day of the party conference, Sunak said halving inflation is “the best tax cut that I can deliver for the British people right now”.

When challenged by the BBC presenter that this was not accurate, Sunak insisted it was, adding: “Inflation is a tax, it is a tax that impacts the poorest people the most.”

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Full Fact said: “It is clearly not technically true that “inflation is a tax”, as he said. Taxes are money paid to the state to fund public services, whereas inflation is an increase in the price of goods and services.”

The next day on Radio 4’S Today programme, Hunt (below) said meeting the pledge to halve inflation was “not a 1p tax cut, [but] a 5p boost in their real disposable incomes.”

He also repeated this claim about a “5p boost” in his conference speech.

The National:

However, the “5p boost” is not entirely what it seems, as the chancellor is suggesting that prices wouldn’t rise as much with inflation at 5% as they would have had it remained at 10%.

Full Fact said: “Crucially, if inflation is at 5% then prices will still be rising—people will have to pay 5p more for an item that cost £1 last year, not 5p less.

“It's a common misconception that falling inflation leads to falling prices. This would only be the case with negative inflation, something last seen in the UK in 2015.”

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Steve Nowottny, editor at Full Fact, said that trust in politics is “consistently low”.

"It is deeply disappointing when politicians of any party do not hold themselves to the highest possible standards of accuracy and fairness, as voters rightly expect them to ahead of the next general election,” he said.

“We expect our elected officials to be able to back up any claims they make, and it is worrying that this year we have seen a trend emerge in which politicians from all sides of the political debate have made claims about policies or initiatives without putting them into context, or making sure the statements they make are supported by evidence.”