World

Johnson's party caught distributing doctored clip of rival politician

LONDON : British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's election campaign got off to a poor start yesterday, when his party chairman was forced to defend distributing a doctored video clip of an opposition politician.

The ruling Conservatives distributed the video of Labour's Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer, editing out a key response in an interview to give the impression that the opposition party had no answer for Brexit.

Mr Starmer was grilled by ITV on Tuesday over the party's Brexit plans. In a heavily edited video of the interview published by the Conservatives, Mr Starmer was shown being asked by ITV presenter Piers Morgan why the European Union would give a Labour government a good Brexit deal.

Mr Starmer was shown apparently blinking, startled and faltering and uncomfortable behind the red slogan: Labour has no plan for Brexit. Yet in the actual interview, Mr Starmer had not faltered but had answered immediately.

Conservative lawmaker Johnny Mercer said the video he had tweeted had been doctored and apologised.

"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," he said.

Yet Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly, speaking to ITV yesterday, repeatedly refused to accept that the clip had been doctored or to apologise.

Mr Morgansaid: "I just find that absolutely staggering: To shamelessly re-edit a video to make it look like something completely different...

"And when you are caught - you just don't have the good grace to say: 'Yeah, we shouldn't have done that - I'm sorry'." - REUTERS

WORLD