Tory MP and Brexiteer James Cleverly has suffered an embarrassing gaffe on Twitter where he claimed that an MP from the 1800s was a party of his party when he was actually an independent.
Cleverly, who was recently appointed as the Conservative party chair by Boris Johnson, shared a tweet last week where he marked the anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery Act coming into force on August 1, 1833, which was the culmination of a decades-long campaign by William Wilberforce.
"A Tory MP from Yorkshire called William Wilberforce" 1st August 1834 was the day that the Abolition of Slavery Ac… https://t.co/1d4W3YhQ0O— James Cleverly🇬🇧 (@James Cleverly🇬🇧) 1564679636
Nothing wrong with that at all, except Cleverly should have done a bit more research or asked his scriptwriter to at least read Wikipedia, as he would have quickly learned that Wilberforce wasn't associated with any party and was an independent MP from 1780 until 1825.
Wilberforce died just days after the bill was passed by parliament but he was never aligned to any political party in the UK, which many people on Twitter soon picked up on and were more than happy to inform Cleverly of his mistake, with some even asking him to delete the tweet.
@JamesCleverly I think you need to check your history. Not only was not a Tory, he sat as an independent, the bill… https://t.co/aD50OrNlPI— David🔶#FBPPR #FBPE #CAFC Bingham 🇬🇧 🇩🇰 (@David🔶#FBPPR #FBPE #CAFC Bingham 🇬🇧 🇩🇰) 1564875619
William Wilberforce was not a Tory MP. James Cleverly knows this, because hundreds of people have told him so, yet… https://t.co/mRy23YdIay— Owen Jones 🌹 (@Owen Jones 🌹) 1564905722
#WilliamWilberforce wasn't a Tory MP @JamesCleverly. He was an independent who described himself as "no party man".… https://t.co/ohm1eLe4bi— Crispian Wheldon #JoinAUnion (@Crispian Wheldon #JoinAUnion) 1564770606
This is a false statement (Wilberforce was independent). But despite being corrected by many people, it's left up.… https://t.co/jcjIkKQoPU— Steve Peers (@Steve Peers) 1564826134
@JamesCleverly Wilberforce was an independent, not a tory— Cirian75 #YNWA 62.5% 🇬🇧 25% 🇳🇱 12.5% 🇦🇺 (@Cirian75 #YNWA 62.5% 🇬🇧 25% 🇳🇱 12.5% 🇦🇺) 1564830117
There was also plenty of mockery of Cleverly's disregard for facts.
@JamesCleverly Tory MP Neil Armstrong landed on the moon in 1969 Tory MP Geoff Hurst scored a hat trick in the 196… https://t.co/vXh6slkwPo— Mark Shepstone (@Mark Shepstone) 1564785584
@JamesCleverly Back to sleep Jimmy @JamesCleverly William Wilberforce was an Independent MP... https://t.co/EDIov036hZ— Man In The Shed (@Man In The Shed) 1564879278
@UKDemockery Applying that towering intellect to historical appreciation I see🤨😁 https://t.co/o8ptoCVQmF— RichardS✊😷📚 (@RichardS✊😷📚) 1564777959
Indy100 has contacted James Cleverly for comment.
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