EDDISBURY MP Stephen O’Brien this week slammed the Government’s “attempts to mislead the public” on knife crime figures, after a damning report was released by a statistics watchdog.

The UK Statistics Authority last month criticised the release of the figures by the Home Office as “premature, irregular, and selective”, prompting a House of Commons apology from Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.

And Mr O’Brien is furious at what he believes are blatant Government attempts to “fiddle” data for political gain.

He said: “On this occasion the Government was caught red-handed trying to fiddle and manipulate the figures.

“It is completely unacceptable that the Home Secretary and her office attempted to skew the figures for political gain in a deliberate attempt to mislead the public and Parliament.

“We know this Labour Government has been fiddling the figures for years, but this just confirms what most people suspected and opposition MPs know –this Government cannot be trusted to tell the truth.”