Today, Sir Robert Chote, Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, has written to leaders of political parties to ask that their parties and candidates use statistics appropriately and transparently.

The Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR), the regulatory arm of the Authority, has been campaigning to encourage ‘intelligent transparency’, and make sure that statistical claims and statements are based on data to which everyone has equal access, are clearly and transparently defined, and for which there is appropriate acknowledgement of any uncertainties and context that people need to be aware of if they are realistically to interpret what they mean.

Sir Robert Chote said:

“We believe official statistics should serve the public good. This means that when statistics and quantitative claims are used in public debate, they should enhance understanding of the topics being debated and not be used in a way that has the potential to mislead.”



  • Sir Robert Chote’s letter is published in full on the Authority website. It was sent to leaders of all political parties represented in the House of Commons upon its dissolution on Thursday 30 May 2024.
  • The former Chair of the Authority, Sir David Norgrove, wrote to party leaders ahead of the 2019 and 2017 General Elections.
  • Sir Robert has previously written to ministers and parliamentarians in response to various concerns about the public use of statistics. The threshold for public intervention is raised during a pre-election period, but the guiding principle for intervening will be if a statement is materially wrong or misleading to the point it could significantly impact on the political debates that are presented to voters.​
  • The Authority’s full interventions policy can be read online and all correspondence from Sir Robert can be found here.
  • The UK Statistics Authority is an independent body operating at arm’s length from government as a non-ministerial department, directly accountable to Parliament. It was established on 1 April 2008 by the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007.
  • The Authority’s statutory objective is to promote and safeguard the production and publication of official statistics that serve the public good. It is also required to promote and safeguard the quality and comprehensiveness of official statistics and ensure good practice in relation to official statistics.
  • In accordance with official guidance for civil servants, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) will continue to publish pre-announced statistical releases. View upcoming releases on the ONS website.
  • For media enquiries about the work of the UK Statistics Authority, please call: 03000 671 571


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