James Cleverly said the Tories changed their account to a ‘fact checker’ to stop Labour's 'lies'

Louis Staples
Wednesday 20 November 2019 11:45
news

Following the first televised leaders’ debate between Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson, the biggest news story of the night happened off the stage.

The Conservatives were accused of promoting fake news when they rebranded their official Twitter account as a “fact checking” service.

MORE: The key moments from Boris Johnson vs Jeremy Corbyn debate that everyone's talking about

The account live-tweeted the debate and took aim at several of Corbyn’s statements. But people were left uncomfortable by the clear attempt to appear like an impartial fact-checking service.

People on Twitter were furious about it.

The move prompted rebuttals from the Electoral Commission and Twitter, who said they’d consider banning the account if it misleads people again.

Appearing on Newsnight after the debate, Conservative Party Chairman attempted to defend the move.

Presenter Emily Maitlis asked Cleverly:

Dressed up party lines as a fact-check service, that is dystopian?

Cleverly responded:

We were calling out the Labour Party’s wilful misinformation regarding the NHS. And every time they do that, we will call it out. The reason they’re doing it is because they would rather have this row, than the row about their Brexit position.

Maitlis responded:

This is the conservative press office pretending to be a fact-checking office.

You were misleading the public, you were trying to coat your propaganda as hardened fact.

On Twitter, people weren’t convinced by Cleverly’s suggestion that the Tories were misleading the public as a way of showing… How Labour are allegedly misleading the public.

More: Tories called out for misleading public after sneaky ‘factcheckuk’ rebrand during election debate​

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