We’re in a post-truth age of politics. And just to prove it – here are 14 of the best euphemisms used by politicians to avoid admitting they told lies:


  1. It wasn’t a lie, it was an aspiration
    – Chris Grayling on Brexit NHS lies


2. It wasn’t a lie, it was an extrapolation
– Iain Duncan Smith on Brexit NHS lies


3. They were not lies, they were a series of possibilities
– Iain Duncan Smith on Brexit lies


4. I didn’t lie, I was tired
– Boris Johnson on freedom of movement after Brexit


5. He didn’t lie, he just didn’t know
– Donald Trump campaign manager on one of his myriad of lies


6. I didn’t lie, I short-circuited
– Hillary Clinton on email controversy


7. They weren’t lies. They were false assumptions
– Republican Senator Dick Lugar on Bush’s Iraq lies


8. It wasn’t a lie, it was a mischaracterization of the intelligence
– US Intelligence Committee on Bush’s Iraq lies


9. It was not an accurate description, but it wasn’t a lie
– Chilcot report on Blair’s Iraq lies


10. It was a terminological inexactitude, not a lie
– Winston Churchill during argument over slavery


11. It wasn’t lying, it was being economical with the truth
– Sir Robert Armstrong during Thatcher government’s attempts to ban the Spycatcher book


12. It wasn’t a lie, it was a misstatement of awareness
– Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael on lies about Nicola Sturgeon


13. It was an unwise commitment, not a lie
– Lib Dem Vince Cable on pledge not to raise tuition fees


14. It wasn’t a lie, it was a mistake
– Lib Dem Nick Clegg on his pledge not to raise tuition fees