A number of Tory MPs have reportedly removed tweets after they shared a doctored video of Labour leader Keir Starmer which was made to look like he was defending a decision to not prosecute grooming gangs.
Nadine Dorries, who is the minister for mental health, suicide prevention and patient safety, retweeted the video originally posted by a profile which now appears to have been deleted, but many have called it a far-right, nationalist account. It had more than 25,000 followers.
It was also shared by Tory MP Lucy Allan and former Tory MPMaria Caulfield, who appears to have subsequently deleted her account entirely.
The tweet was shared from an account called Njames World, which took footage from a 2013 Channel 5 interview that Starmer took part in.
The original tweet has also been removed with the account also appearing to have been deleted.
In the edited video, Starmer was made to look like he was blaming minors for not reporting the abuse they had suffered, however in the 2013 clip Starmer, who was then the director of public prosecutions, explained why previous rules on reporting grooming gangs was outdated and not fit for purpose.
This is what he actually said:
The approach taken in the past was the wrong approach. It was based on a number of assumptions, which don’t withstand scrutiny.
The guidelines change that, and they require the police and prosecutors to focus intensely on the allegation actually being made, and not so much on the weaknesses or vulnerabilities that are invariably there in some of the victims that come forward.
The assumptions that were made included the assumption that a victim of child sexual abuse will swiftly report what happened to them to the police, will be able to give a coherent and consistent account, first time. That they themselves will not have engaged in any offending or other behaviour, and that they will not have misused drugs or alcohol at any stage.
Those assumptions do not withstand scrutiny. They have got to change. The guidelines make that clear so this is a clear break with the path.
None of this was included in the tweet that the three Tory MPs shared.
Allan has since shared a tweet using very similar wording to the one that she deleted earlier on Thursday morning.
Indy100 has contacted Nadine Dorries, Maria Caulfied and Lucy Allan for comment.