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Did Alan Johnson Lie On The Andrew Neill Show?

March 10, 2016

By Paul Homewood  




You may recall Piers Corbyn’s interview on Andrew Neill’s show last December.

About 5 minutes in, Alan Johnson, MP, interjected that the House of Commons Library had confirmed to him that afternoon that 97% of climate scientists say “that climate change is real, that it’s happening and that it’s man made”


Curious to see where the Library had got this information, I FOI’d them as follows:


1) Was such advice provided by the Library to Alan Johnson?

2) If so, what is the basis for such advice?

3) If no such advice was given, what evidence does the Library have regarding Johnson’s statement?


They have just responded:


The Commons Library provides a confidential enquiry service to Members of Parliament to support them in their parliamentary duties. Written responses to these enquiries are logged. We hold no record of having provided the specific information requested.

It may interest you to know that the figure of 97% is available in the public domain and has been cited in press reports, for example see The Guardian, “Survey finds 97% of climate science papers agree warming is man-made”, 16 May 2013 (

The basis for this figure has been contested in other articles.


It appears therefore that Alan Johnson has lied.

It is a pity that Andrew Neill, himself a bit of a sceptic, allowed Johnson to get away with this statement.

  1. March 10, 2016 2:35 pm

    Reblogged this on Jaffer's blog.

  2. March 10, 2016 2:47 pm

    Would it interest them to know that the whole “97%” thing is one big whopper?

    • John F. Hultquist permalink
      March 10, 2016 3:36 pm

      No, not likely. Don’t confuse them with facts.

  3. philip clement permalink
    March 10, 2016 2:49 pm

    They don’t care, the ends justify the means.

  4. permalink
    March 10, 2016 2:58 pm

    It’s interesting that the Library quote only a daily newspaper.

    Did Alan Johnson cite the Library to give the claim greater credence than quoting the Guardian might have ?


  5. BLACK PEARL permalink
    March 10, 2016 3:53 pm

    Could tell by the look on his face his thoughts were formulating as Piers was busy spouting the facts.
    A true company man spouting party policy whether its true or false… its policy so stick to it !
    Labour runs through him like a name in a stick of rock
    Again nice investigative work calling these lier’s out
    Email Andrew Neill & Piers

    Wind Power continues its usual coarse

  6. March 10, 2016 4:02 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:

  7. BLACK PEARL permalink
    March 10, 2016 4:32 pm

    Paul the lies will never end, as how can the Govt ever admit the whole thing has been a mistake or fraud. Its not just the loss of credibility, it the all important tax revenue £42 billion a year (I remember you quoted once) they need to protect
    No wonder they want to stop FOI requests

  8. tom0mason permalink
    March 10, 2016 6:14 pm

    Oh no, Alan Johnson, MP lied?
    An MP lies, how unusual is that.
    Perhaps ‘lies’ is a strong word, ‘Fabrication of terminological inexactitudes’ (to quote Winston Churchill MP), or “economical with the actualité” as Alan Clark, MP said with a knowing smile.
    Or maybe Alan Johnson is just another MP with questionable recall of real, and not imagined, facts. Just another fantasist that fools have voted in to power.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      March 10, 2016 6:58 pm

      I don’t think recall is the problem

      About 5 minutes in, Alan Johnson, MP, interjected that the House of Commons Library had confirmed to him that afternoon that 97% of climate scientists say “that climate change is real, that it’s happening and that it’s man made”

      Barefaced lying is the only explanation.

      • tom0mason permalink
        March 10, 2016 8:28 pm

        Your statement of “Barefaced lying” has all evidential function of being more than 97% correct 🙂 .

  9. catweazle666 permalink
    March 10, 2016 6:34 pm

    He’s a politician, and a Left wing one at that.

    So were his lips moving?

    Yep, he was lying.

  10. March 10, 2016 11:07 pm

    Well, I have to say that I’m amazed that Parliamentary Privilege hasn’t been invoked.

    I FoI’d ( actually I didn’t – I just asked – they escalated to formal FoI) the Environmental Audit Committee about the absolute last minute exclusion of Richard North from the flooding sessions – after it’d been advertised on their web site, he’d received a formal request to attend and actually traveled down to London from Yorkshire . Excluded on the basis of some undisclosed literally last minute allegations about Dr. North’s online writings which the committee won’t specify…..

    Parliamentary privilege would have allowed them to say what they thought of Dr. North and “out” his unacceptable behavior at some unspecified time in the past – but they chose to block his in-person submission (and cross examination) yards from the hot seat….

    The cowards won’t say who made the allegations or what those allegations were – they have subsequently tinkered with the committee web site to make out that Dr North wasn’t involved as a prominent witness at all….

    Dr. North’s rep for some harsh language (and obsessive research) preceded him – but it’s not like that was any secret and the delicate sensibilities of the members would’ve been irreparably damaged by exposure to some truth now is it?

    Seems like hardly a day passes without an MP making a remark that ratchets our perception of our elected chamber downwards …

  11. Charlie Moncur permalink
    March 11, 2016 8:51 am

    I believe a court action is taking place in Australia with reference to the 97% flawed paper. The question is how do you hold politicians accountable for bare faced lies. I am a big fan of Piers Corbyn and use his forecast services – he has an 85% track record with his forecasts. He has impressive academic qualification (Imperial) I also watch the Andrew Neil BBC Daily Politics and have a lot of time for him and Andrew Marr. However I think Andrew Neil and the BBC are due Piers Corbyn and abject apology for the shabby treatment he received. Neither BBC or Andrew Neil are interested in facts when it comes to climate change- only spin and blind faith in the likes of Al Gore and Michael Mann (of “Man” Made Global Warming and the Hockey Stick). Courts are the only redress – but how? Crowd funding – drag some key peddlers of lies into court as per the Aussies?

    • March 11, 2016 10:34 am

      Even though Andrew Neil has the rep of a bruiser – he is, I think – on a relatively short leash – I recall seeing Bill Gates getting Paxo-ed – or rather – a very, very subdued Paxman flattening himself to the floor and wagging the tip of his tail and constantly looking off camera …

      The nabobs at the BBC control their output as forcefully as any newspaper baron ever did/does – they hide behind the subterfuge / fig leaf of “public service broadcasting”. The 28 of “gate” infamy, editorial guidelines and Harrabin’s propaganda antics ensure that the BBC’s “aristocrats” get their way.

  12. Ex-expat Colin permalink
    March 11, 2016 10:38 am

    Trump upsetting the Twatter AGW hand wringers:

  13. Charlie Moncur permalink
    March 11, 2016 12:32 pm

    Tomo – very good reason to end the BBC Charter – they are not independent – in breach of the charter -and have a clear political agenda. Unlike a normal company, they have a guaranteed income stream. Enough to pay the fat cats and big retirement hand outs. Time for a change?

    • John189 permalink
      March 11, 2016 4:35 pm

      I wish neither to attack or defend Alan Johnson, but merely to explain the political context. No doubt all he did was check his memory for an answer which would support a pre-existing belief, and it appears that by Parliamentary debating standards he was telling the truth as the House of Commons Library had confirmed for him that, as reported in the Guardian, “97 per cent etc etc”. What is shocking to me is the idea that the House Library should be classing a newspaper article as sound evidence, especially as the controversy surrounding the 97 per cent is well known.

      • rtj1211 permalink
        March 11, 2016 5:00 pm

        I guess it’s really quite hard to come up with too many sources where evidence is ‘sound’ nowadays. I started out in Science 30 years ago believing that Nature and Science were two of the most rigorous science publications around. You’d be hard pressed to say that about their climate science coverage since 2000.

        I have NEVER come across a newspaper in the past 15 years which upholds proper standards of journalism. Every last one of them are advertising portals, spinning ventures and pandering-to-prejudice fountains. As any subject of any weight cannot be examined professionally within the length of a ‘journalistic article’, this is hardly surprising. What is surprising is that the delusion remains that these are sources of wisdom.

        Political parties have never told the truth either.

        It’s not really worth trying to change all that as you’d need the power of Rupert Murdoch and the morals of Justin Welby. It’s not going to happen in the 21st century……

        All you can do is assume they are liars until proven otherwise and educate your children not to trust anything they have not learned to trust through experience……

        Even then, there’s a case for playing the risk-reward ratio game of who to trust, since that way you probably end up with more trustworthy sources than if you are obsessional about purity.

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