The world of statistics gathering was reeling today following a News of the World sting in which an employee of the Office of National Statistics was secretly filmed accepted £150,000 to release fake statistics on consumer confidence.
The employee, known only as 'NH' was filmed accepting the money in a Wetherspoons pub in Newport, Wales. In the video he agrees to release a press statement the following week which claims that consumer confidence amongst high street shoppers is at an all-time high.
The employee, originally from the Stoke-on-Trent area, has allegedly released previous false statistics which claim that the nation's favourate colour of car is blue, and Britain's favourate musical act is the US rock band Tesla, although the last of these false releases appears to have been for personal reasons and not for financial gain.
The Office for National Statistics was unavailable for comment due to it being the weekend when we called. "The Office for National Statistics is now closed." said a pre-recorded message. "Our hours are 8.30 to 5.30 Monday to Friday."