The staff of Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, and John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, have been asked to attend a meeting by the statistics watchdog of the United Kingdom over the misuse of statistics.
Previously, David Norgrove, the Statistics Authority chairman, has written to the Labour Party regarding a “lack of published information on sources, assumptions and methods to support statements.”
Last February, he wrote to the party regarding the claims that Universal Credit would result in 40,000 children going into poverty and, last August, Norgrove tested a calculation that the free bus travel policy of Labour could save young people up to £1000 per year.
The most recent warning was linked to the statements over the Inclusive Funds Policy of Labour, which were discovered to be accurate. However, the watchdog took the said issue with the lack of information surrounding the said statistics.
David Norgrove stated: “We spoke to your office who provided sources underpinning the statement on employment, and gave a breakdown of the approach taken to deriving the surplus funds arising from the policy. It would have been helpful for information about sources to be published at the time the claims were made. It is not our role, of course, to take a view about any assumptions that were made.”
He added: “The Authority has written to the Labour Party previously about a lack of published information on sources, assumptions and methods to support statements.”
He continued: “I would welcome a meeting between your team and the Office of Statistics Regulation to discuss how the Labour Party might apply the principles of the Code of Practice for Statistics in its communication of data.”
A spokesperson from the Labour Party stated: “We received a letter this week which did not challenge any of our figures, but was requesting a meeting between officials on how those figures are presented.”
He added: “We always strive to be as transparent as possible with our policies, as evidenced by costing our manifesto in 2017 unlike the Conservatives, and always welcome advice on how to do even better.”