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  1. Boris Johnson’s Brexit claims fact-checked

    Reality Check

    Celebrating the Conservatives’ win in Hartlepool, Boris Johnson said: "It's thanks to Brexit that we've actually been able to go ahead with the freeport in the whole of Teesside, do things like take back control of our borders, we’re able to deal with things like the European Super League".

    There are about 80 freeports around the EU, so the UK could have had a Teesside freeport without Brexit – as we’ve pointed out before.

    The tax breaks offered as part of the scheme can probably be more generous now they do not need to be cleared by the European Commission though. But, under the UK’s trade deal with the EU, any such subsidies need to be justified or they could – in theory – trigger action from the EU.

    The UK has certainly made changes in its border policies, with a new immigration system and ending freedom of movement for EU citizens (which also applies to UK citizens going to the EU).

    It is unclear how Brexit affected the government’s ability to deal with the European Super League. Big clubs in several EU countries refused to sign up to the breakaway competition (while six English clubs did) - which subsequently collapsed. We’ve asked Downing Street to explain this claim but have not heard back.

    Boris Johnson and Jill Mortimer in Hartlepool
    Image caption: Boris Johnson spoke in Hartlepool after Jill Mortimer's historic election as Conservative MP there
  2. US talk show host highly misleading on deaths after Covid jabs

    Reality Check

    Fox TV host Tucker Carlson
    Image caption: Tucker Carlson is a controversial host on the Fox TV News channel

    A conservative talk show host has claimed thousands of people are dying in the US after receiving a Covid jab.

    Tucker Carlson, well-known as a vaccine sceptic, said in a Fox News segment: “Between late December of 2020 and last month, a total of 3,362 people apparently died after getting the Covid vaccine in the US… That’s an average of roughly 30 people every day.”

    But his comments are highly misleading, as dying after receiving a vaccine doesn’t mean the death was caused by it.

    Carlson was referring to a US government database where people can report health problems after vaccination.

    But Carlson’s claim that all these deaths are as a result of Covid can be easily debunked.

    The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that on average around 8,000 people die a day of all causes in the US.

    By the end April, the US had vaccinated around 40% of its population - so you would have expected around 3,200 vaccinated people to die every day of something.

    Carlson’s figure of 30 people a day is a tiny fraction of the number of vaccinated Americans you would expect to die every day for reasons that have nothing to do with vaccination.

    It is also highly misleading to link it to vaccinations as he has done. The CDC analysed this same data and found no link between vaccinations and deaths.

    The self-reporting scheme (VAERS) says its database “may include incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental and unverified information” and “cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness”.

  3. Did Labour oppose the Brexit deal?

    Reality Check

    During their heated exchanges, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said to Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer: “Last night, our friends in the European Union voted to approve our Brexit deal, which he opposed.”

    If the prime minister is referring to the vote in the House of Commons that followed the deal then that is not correct.

    The vote took place on 30 December and was backed by the Commons by 521 to 73 votes after Parliament was recalled.

    The Labour leader voted in favour of the legislation on the agreement as did the vast majority of Labour MPs.

    The Labour leader had said a "thin deal was better than no deal". He had criticised a number of aspects of the deal.

  4. How much did former Labour PMs spend on the Downing Street flat?

    Reality Check

    Graphic image

    At Prime Minister’s Questions, Boris Johnson and Labour leader Keir Starmer clashed over the controversial refurbishment of the DowningStreet flat where the prime minister is living.

    Mr Johnson said: “I’d rather not spend taxpayers’ money, by the way, like the last Labour government, which spent £500,000 of taxpayers’ money on the Downing Street flat”.

    The figures for annual spending appear in a parliamentary answer from a Cabinet Office minister.

    The £500,000 figure is what you get if you adjust rising prices and add up all the spending over the period of Labour governments between 1997 and 2010.

    If you take it in cash terms, to reflect the annual £30,000 allowance, there were several years when the spending was over that level.

    But the total spending over 13 years was £370,000, which is just under £30,000 a year.