You can’t trust the Tories: Boris Johnson’s lies and broken promises

You can’t trust the Tories.

Not with Brexit, not with democracy, not with our food standards and certainly not with our NHS.

There’s a whole catalogue of Boris Johnson’s lies and broken promises – here are just some.

Workers’ rights

January 2021: Boris Johnson’s Business Secretary claims there is no Government plan to reduce workers’ rights and promises the Tories “will not row back on the 48-hour weekly working limit derived from the working time directive”.

Hours later, the Tories failed to vote to protect existing workers’ rights and failed to back the SNP’s legislation to end nasty ‘fire and rehire’ tactics.

Scottish fishing

2019: Boris Johnson says that under no circumstances his Tory government will “make the mistake of the government in the 1970s, who traded our fisheries away at the last moment in the talks.” Johnson repeatedly claims that his Tory party “will boost that extraordinary industry”.

2021: Fishing industry leaders accuse Boris Johnson of betraying the industry and selling it out to get a trade deal with the EU. The Chief Executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations said that “throughout the fishing industry, there is a profound sense of disillusionment, betrayal and fury that after all the rhetoric, promises and assurances, the government caved in on fish.”

NHS privatisation

2019: Boris Johnson dismisses claims the NHS was at risk from a post-Brexit trade deal with the US as “nonsense”, and offers a cast iron guarantee” that the NHS won’t be on the table.

2021: 357 Tory MPs vote against an amendment in the House of Commons to to legally protect the NHS from being sold off or undermined by the government’s trade deals with other countries.

Power Grab Bill

2020: Boris Johnson’s man in Scotland, Douglas Ross, denied the Tories’ illegal Internal Market Bill is a power grab that threatens Scottish democracy. He claims that “not one” power is being taken away from Holyrood.

January 2021: The UK Tory government announce they are to bypass the devolved governments and replace structural funds with a Whitehall-controlled fund.

March 2021: A week after the Scottish Parliament unanimously passes a landmark UNCRC Bill to strengthen children’s rights, the UK government takes the Scottish Government to court over it.

Brexit red lines

2018: Baroness Ruth Davidson and Former Scottish Secretary, David Mundell, declare they will resign if Northern Ireland is given a special Brexit deal from Scotland. The pair say this issue is a “red line” and would “undermine the integrity” of the UK.

2021: Tory Minister, Brandon Lewis, says on BBC Question Time that “as part of the UK, Northern Ireland is going to have this unique competitive advantage in the world” with access to the both the UK and the EU through the single market. Davidson and Mundell remain members of the Tory party, with the former gaining a life-long seat in the House of Lords.

Food standards

2019: Tory MP Michael Gove pledges that food standards will not be loweredin pursuit of trade deals”. Minette Batters, President of the National Farmers’ Union, says “Mr Gove has said that over his dead body would British standards be undermined. I don’t want it written in blood. I want it written in ink.

2021: UK Tory Ministers are now able to approve the import of food products of a lower standard than currently permitted in the UK, after Tory MPs continually refuse to sign pledges into law that would outlaw the import of chlorinated chicken and hormone-treated beef.

Erasmus & young people’s opportunities

2018: Former Tory leader in Holyrood, Jackson Carlaw, says that “all parties agree” that Erasmus must continue and claims that his party are “fighting to ensure Erasmus continues. Carlaw accuses the SNP of grandstanding against the SNP on this issue.

2020: The EU confirm that UK students will no longer take part in the Erasmus, stating that “the British government decided not to participate in the Erasmus exchange programme”.


2017: The UK Tory government U-turn on their previous position on bee-harming pesticides and announce they will back a total ban of neonicotinoids, which can contaminate the whole landscape and cause serious damage to colonies of bees.

2021: Boris Johnson’s government announce the bee-killing pesticide, banned by the EU, may now be used in England – as wildlife protection groups launch a legal challenge against the Tory government.


2019: Michael Gove pledges that farmers “can take advantage of the opportunities provided by Brexit”, which will help “develop a more vibrant farming sector”.

2021: The UK government’s Australia trade deal has been slammed by Scotland’s farmers, with the NFU Scotland President saying that “Scottish farming is next to be sacrificed” after the Tory fishing sell-out. The deal threatens to put Scotland’s farmers at a competitive disadvantage and doesn’t even cover 1% of the lost opportunities from Brexit.