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

Diane Abbott
Tracy Keeling

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:

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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

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