'Porky squad' sets out to track Major

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The Independent Online
JOHN SMITH, the Labour leader, is setting up a 'porky squad' to search out John Major's false statements - deliberate or inadvertent - in the Commons.

Party officials disclosed yesterday the text of letters between Mr Smith and Downing Street, in which the Prime Minister had been obliged to correct an erroneous assertion made in Parliament. A Labour spokesman argued: 'John Major doesn't care whether what he says is accurate or not. We are beginning a 'Major Watch'. We will challenge him on anything that is untrue or misleading.'

The initiative follows a letter from Mr Smith to Downing Street complaining that on 18 November, in the debate on the Queen's Speech, Mr Major said that 'the incidence of crime has doubled in every western country'.

In reply to Mr Smith, Mr Major admitted: 'It is perfectly true that in some western countries crime has not doubled.' However, it had 'in most'.

The term 'porky' comes from 'pork pie', which in rhyming slang means 'lie'.