Did the Office for National Statistics really produce ‘false data’ on coronavirus infections?

Some have suggested that dramatic data revisions on new coronavirus cases by the official statistics body indicate that the UK might have gone into lockdown in November unnecessarily. Do such claims have any substance? Ben Chu investigates

Wednesday 09 December 2020 22:24
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<p>The ONS model is set up with certain statistical assumptions to process often patchy raw data to produce an estimate of trends</p>

The ONS model is set up with certain statistical assumptions to process often patchy raw data to produce an estimate of trends

ITV’s political editor, Robert Peston, this week pointed to some spreadsheets produced by the Office for National Statistics which, he said, raised troubling questions about government policy during the pandemic, including whether the second lockdown was necessary or not to get infections under control.

The headline of his piece on the ITV website referred to “false data”.

The Daily Telegraph took up the theme on Wednesday with a story, based on the same spreadsheets, headlined with “Pre-lockdown spike did not exist, data shows”.

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