Diane Abbott has shared a fake image of an Israeli fighter jet carrying out a bombing mission over Iranian capital Tehran while attempting to make a point about Theresa May’s decision to involve Britain in airstrikes in Syria.
The Shadow Home Secretary tweeted the digitally altered image this morning after listening to a BBC Today programme interview with Penny Mordaunt, the International Development Secretary, who argued it was correct the Prime Minister did not consult Parliament ahead of the military action.
Ms Abbott wrote on Twitter: "Shocking to hear Tory minister on BBC Radio4 claim that you can’t allow Parliament to vote on war because that would be to ‘outsource the decision to people who don’t have all the info’. Do these people understand what parliamentary democracy is?"
Shocking to hear Tory minister on @BBCr4today claim that you can’t allow Parliament to vote on war because that would be to “outsource the decision to people who don’t have all the info” Do these people understand what parliamentary democracy is? pic.twitter.com/1sMxSJb48G— Diane Abbott (@HackneyAbbott) April 16, 2018
But the photo, which was taken from an aviation blog posted in 2012, shows an Israeli F-15 fighter over Tehran, with large explosions in the background.
It was created by Al Clark and posted by David Cenciotti on The Aviationist blog in March 2012, along with a clear explanation of what the image shows.
It is also unclear why Ms Abbott chose to post the image, which clearly shows an Israeli plane and depicts a day-time raid - whereas the airstrike launched by Britain, the US and France took place in the dead of night.
Ms Abbott later tweeted: "Apparently, my use of this pic is ‘important news’. Yes, UK goes to war without UN approval or even parliamentary debate. But the most important news is what pics I use in a tweet. Pathetic."
But Ms Abbott faced strong criticism on social media for her use of the fake photo.
Jonathan Arkush, Board of Deputies president, wrote on Twitter: "We are entitled to an explanation for @HackneyAbbott using a fake image of an Israeli plane bombing Tehran.
"Did she know it was faked up, or is this yet another case of a @UKLabour figure being remarkably careless ? And where did @HackneyAbbott find the image ? Over to you Diane."
Leading QC Simon Myerson wrote on Twitter: "And please don't say that a faked image doesn't matter. You're either committed to honesty and transparency or you're not."
Another social media user wrote: "It is important when it shows you have absolutely no clue what you're doing or talking about.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has opposed Theresa May's decision to bomb targets in Syria without a debate in Parliament first, after the UK partnered with France and America to take action last week.
Michael Fabricant, a Conservative MP, said: “Diane Abbott does her pacifism no good at all by deceitfully broadcasting pictures which are photo-shopped and have no relation to the truth.”