Labour’s Diane Abbott has responded to criticism on social media for using a simulated image of a bombing raid while posting on Twitter about the UK’s participation in military strikes in Syria.
The image she chose to accompany her tweet was a composite showing what a strike by Israeli planes on Tehran might have looked like, and was originally posted to an aviation blog five years ago.
The shadow home secretary dismissed the row over her use of the picture as “pathetic”.
It is unclear where Abbott sourced the image. However, it appears prominently in Google image searches for multiple queries relating to the bombing of Syria including “syria air strikes”, “bombing syria” and “air strike syria”.
Abbot defended herself, tweeting: “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.”
The Conservative MP James Cleverly had demanded an apology, saying: “To imply that this was a attack on civilian homes, as the picture does, is a vile misrepresentation and dishonours the RAF personnel involved.”
Abbott was hitting out on social media at the international development secretary, Penny Mordaunt, who on Monday morning defended the government’s refusal to hold a parliamentary vote before launchingstrikes in response to the chemical weapon attack on Douma.