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Culture secretary Nadine Dorries has been accused of sharing “fake news” after reposting a Daily Mail article accusing Keir Starmer of breaking Covid rules.

In February, the Labour leader was cleared of accusations that he had broken lockdown rules after having a beer in an office in April 2021 while taking a break between meetings.

Despite being cleared of wrongdoing, Tories and right-wing leaning media have continually criticised him.

But, the Daily Mail’s latest attempt to slam Starmer has failed miserably after people pointed out that the image used to suggest he broke the law was taken before the pandemic even began.

The picture, which has been cropped, shows Starmer sitting and eating a meal next to Frank Dobson – a Labour politician who died in 2019.

On Twitter, one person clarified: “Note that the Daily Mail have cut the person on Starmer's right out of the photo.

“That's because it's Frank Dobson who died in 2019. The photo is from 2015.”

Despite being an apparent arbiter for responsible internet use, the Tory culture secretary Nadine Dorries has shared the article with the old image and has appeared to use it to try and discredit Starmer.

A concerned Twitter user replied: “Oh Nadine. You’re basically in charge of stopping fake news online for the UK in your position, and you’ve tweeted a Daily Mail article about Keir Starmer breaking lockdown rules, with a photo showing him having dinner with Frank Dobson who died in 2019.

“IT’S LITERALLY YOUR JOB.”

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Someone else responded: “Just the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport tweeting out fake news.

“Frank Dobson died in 2019.”

“This photo is from 2015. The man Frank Dobson died in 2019. Nadine Dorries still hasn’t taken it down.

“This is the level of government minister. She regularly retweets lies,” another replied.

Though many have helpfully pointed out Dorries’ mistake to her, the article accusing Starmer of breaking lockdown rules with the image from another context remains in place.

It's not the first time in recent weeks the culture secretary has sparked controversy. She was recently criticised for copy and pasting a tweet in support of Labour's Angela Rayner after the Daily Mail published an article about her which was accused of being misogynistic.

indy100 has contacted Dorries and the Daily Mail to comment on this story.

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