On 5 March 2022 a number of Conservative MPs, including the Brexit Opportunities Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, tweeted a chart claiming that the value of Russian bank assets sanctioned by the UK was higher than those sanctioned by either the US or the EU.

The graph shows £258.8 billion worth of Russian bank assets sanctioned by the UK, compared with £240 billion by the US and £38.8 billion by the EU. It’s not clear who first created the chart, but the Cabinet Office told us the figures were produced by the Foreign Office.

However, we don’t know exactly what these figures refer to, how they were calculated, and we cannot find any evidence of the Foreign Office having published this data.

This means we can’t say what these statistics truly represent, whether they are reliable, or whether they are comparable with each other. We don’t know whether the figures only cover assets sanctioned since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, or what criteria have been used to count assets affected by the different sanctions.

The UK Statistics Authority says: “Policy, press or ministerial statements referring to regular or ad hoc official statistics should be issued separately from, and contain a prominent link to, the source statistics. The statements should meet basic professional standards of statistical presentation, including accuracy, clarity and impartiality.”

Jacob Rees Mogg is a lying con man appealing to the weakest minds. Don’t let him get away with it.

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Government has not backed up Russian sanction claims

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