The Sun’s deputy political editor spreads a false story about Diane Abbott. It totally backfires.

Diane Abbott
Support us and go ad-free

The Sun‘s new deputy political editor Matt Dathan spread a false story about Diane Abbott on 28 October. Within minutes of him sharing it, the story had backfired.

That’s not a good look for the newly-installed deputy.

Fuck you

Dathan made the claim about Abbott in a tweet:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

So Dathan claimed that someone “in the room” at a shadow cabinet meeting told him Abbott “tore into” Labour MPs who are against a general election. The source apparently claimed the shadow home secretary raised MPs’ behaviour during the 2017 election and said the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), i.e. MPs, can “go fuck themselves”.

Unfortunately for Dathan, within minutes Abbott showed that he’d shared an absolute howler. She took to Twitter and explained what she’d actually said, which the Guardian‘s deputy political editor appeared to have picked up largely intact:

As Abbott pointed out, what she said was that, ahead of the 2017 election, some Labour MPs were behaving like “it’s a f***ing funeral” and saying Jeremy Corbyn should resign. But, she said, they “got re-elected with increased majorities”. So her message to the PLP was essentially: ‘an election could yield positive results for us’. It wasn’t: ‘fuck you all’ as the Sun man suggested.

Clearly, Dathan needs to find better sources. Accurate, reliable sources are fundamental to good journalism. That’s something the deputy political editor of a massive outlet should, erm, already know.

Bring it

Also, if Dathan thought the idea of Abbott telling the PLP to go fuck itself would be received badly by everyone, clearly he hasn’t been paying attention to politics for the last four years:

It appears the Sun‘s just appointed a deputy political editor who is willing to quote unnamed, unreliable sources who are only good for taking cheap, bogus shots at the shadow cabinet. Go figure.

Featured image via YouTube – Owen Jones

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us