Mary calls for Tories to stop talking Wakefield and Britain down in dodgy stats row
Mary Creagh, Labour's MP for Wakefield, has called for the Conservatives to withdraw claims that girls from Britain's poorest areas are more likely to fall pregnant than not before turning 18.
A Conservative Party document contains statements such as, "In the most deprived areas, 54 per cent are likely to fall pregnant before the age of 18", which is at odds with the official statistics which show a 10.5 per cent decline in the under 18 conception rate since 1998 and the real rate of 54 cases per 1,000.
Mary said "The Tories haven't just got their figures wrong - they've got Britain wrong. To label an entire generation of young women like this is irresponsible and insulting. It demonstrates the huge gap between what the Conservatives perceive Britain to be and what it actually is."
"This latest dodgy maths blunder is another example of how the Tories are determined to talk Wakefield and Britain down.
"We've seen it in the way they manipulated and mangled violent crime statistics; now they're doing the same thing on teenage pregnancies. Britain needs a meaningful and honest dialogue based on real facts not just those conjured up to fit the story if politics is really do its job which is improving the lives of British people."
"The Labour Government have always put tackling inequality at the forefront of their agenda with the National Minimum Wage, Family Tax Credits, Sure Start and lifting half a million children and 900,000 pensioners out of poverty. Of course it's not surprising that the Tories, the party of the privileged few, want to talk large parts of the country down."
Labour's Children, Schools and Families Secretary Ed Balls MP said:
"These are more dodgy statistics from the Tories, who will stop at nothing to talk Britain down. They are so out of touch with family life in Britain that they believe over half of teenage girls in the poorest areas fall pregnant.
"How low can David Cameron go? He should immediately withdraw this misleading document which is an insult to communities across our country.
"David Cameron's latest deception and air brushed statistics cannot conceal the fact that the Tories haven't changed. They are totally out of touch and have nothing to say on the important issue of reducing teenage pregnancies except smears and distortions."