Tory chairman James Cleverly has denied that a clip of Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary was edited to suggest the party has “no plan” for leaving the EU.
James Cleverly defended the use of the clip of Sir Keir Starmer’s appearance on Good Morning Britain, saying it was not “doctored”.
Cleverly added that the Tory party press office had simply edited the clip due to time constraints.
The one minute-long video shows Starmer answering questions about the Labour Party’s Brexit strategy.
The clip concludes with Starmer staring mutely at the camera, not answering the question of why would the EU offer a good deal if Labour go on to campaign against it.
Starmer actually replied instantly to Piers Morgan’s question, saying: “I have been talking to the EU, to political leaders across the EU27 countries for three years, and I know very well what the parameters are of any deal that they would do with a Labour government.”
The clip earned retweets from senior Conservatives including health secretary Matt Hancock.
Morgan today accused Cleverly of not caring that the Tories had “posted a fake video that had a fake moment that never happened”.
Cleverly responded: “We wanted to make it short and punchy and we had to take out an awful lot of waffle.”
The party chairman also faced accusations of fake news from LBC host Nick Ferrari. Cleverly told the radio presenter: “The video you are referring to was a satirical, humorous video. I think the comedy soundtrack that we overlaid on that video made it very clear it was satirical.
“Earlier on that morning, we posted a full version of the interview, so people can see unedited the complete illogicality of Labour’s position on Brexit.
“Later on that morning, we also posted an edited satirical version.”
The Conservative Party tweeted out the video with the words: “Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit Minister can’t or won’t answer a simple question about Labour’s position on Brexit.”
Later the Conservative Party press office tweeted: “Believe it or not, this car crash interview did really take place.”