Diane Abbott dismisses criticism of apish angel on Syria tweet

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.

Diane Abbott
(@HackneyAbbott)

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


April 16, 2018

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”.




A Google image search for ‘air strike syria’ includes the fake image in the results.

A Google image search for ‘air strike syria’ includes the fake image in the results. Photograph: Google

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.”

Diane Abbott
(@HackneyAbbott)

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.


April 16, 2018

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.