- Good Morning Britain / The Conservative party
- The Conservative Party accused of spreading ‘fake news’ after posting misleadingly edited footage of an interview with Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer.
- The footage appears to show Starmer left speechless by a question on Labour’s Brexit policy.
- However, full footage of the interview shows that he immediately responded to the question.
- The row comes as ministers confirm that Boris Johnson’s government will refuse to release a report into Russian influence on recent elections and referendums.
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The Conservative party have been accused of spreading fake news, after posting footage of Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer which was edited to falsely suggest he was left speechless during an interview.
The video, which has been shared by senior government figures including the Health Secretary Matt Hancock, is an edit of a video Starmer took part in this morning on ITV’s Good Morning Britain.
In the video, the Shadow Brexit Secretary is asked a series of questions about Labour’s Brexit policy, the last of which appears to leave him lost for words.
WATCH: Jeremy Corbyn's Brexit Minister can't or won't answer a simple question about Labour's position on Brexit. pic.twitter.com/wsxMlUuq9N
— Conservatives (@Conservatives) November 5, 2019
However, footage of the full interview shows that Starmer immediately answered the question put to him by the show’s hosts.
Social media users accused the party of spreading “fake news” after the misleading nature of the video was pointed out by the BBC journalist Daniel Sandford.
“I hate this stuff. I saw too much of it in Russia, and it only ends badly,” Sandford, who is the BBC’s Home Affairs correspondent, posted on Twitter.
Conservative MP Johnny Mercer also spoke out against the video.
“It would appear this has inexplicably been doctored at the end,” he tweeted.
“I apologise and will remove it.”
It would appear this has inexplicably been doctored at the end. I apologise and will remove it. The original interview was bad enough – I have no idea why this needed altering. I will call this out-whichever side does it, including my own. Sorry folks. ???? https://t.co/NuxA6sp8xD
— Johnny Mercer (@JohnnyMercerUK) November 5, 2019
Asked about the footage on Wednesday, the Conservative Party Chairman James Cleverly defended the video as “light-hearted and satirical.”
Watch James Cleverly defend doctored video
'We needed to shorten the video.'
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) November 6, 2019
Report on Russian influence buried until after the election
The row came after Boris Johnson’s government refused to publish an intelligence report into the potential influence of Russia on recent elections and the Brexit referendum, before the upcoming general election.
The Foreign Office Minister Christopher Pincher told MPs on Tuesday that it would be “some time” before it was published, adding that: “When the prime minister has concluded that the report is publishable he will publish it.”
The chair of the UK Parliament’s Intelligence and Security CommitteeDominic Grieve has accused the prime minister, who led the campaign to leave the European Union, of sitting on the report, which was sent to him weeks ago.
Grieve had called on Johnson to allow its publication before the UK goes back to the polls in the upcoming general election.
However, Parliament was suspended on Tuesday for the election period, meaning the report will not now be published until after UK voters go to the polls.