Ed Miliband was rebuked by the statistics watchdog today over a claim that almost all new jobs were being created in London.
In extracts released ahead of a speech last month, the Labour leader was quoted as saying four fifths of new private sector posts since 2010 were in the capital.
Mr Miliband did not deliver the words when he spoke, but the party insisted he stood by the claim.
However, Sir Andrew Dilnot, the head of the UK statistics authority, said the reverse was true, with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggesting just one fifth of public sector employment growth had taken place in London.
He said: “There is a wide difference between the statements made about London and the most recent official statistics published by ONS.”
Sir Andrew also said Labour had not been clear about the source of Mr Miliband’s claim – a think tank report – and had misrepresented the period it covered.
Matt Hancock, the Business Minister, called on the Labour leader to apologise.
“If he can’t get his facts right on the economy, then there is no way he would be able to run the country,” Mr Hancock said.
Labour declined to comment on Sir Andrew’s reprimand.