Science Secretary Michelle Donelan rebuked Karl Turner who posted a picture depicting Rishi Sunak seemingly being disapproved of by an onlooker.
Science Secretary Michelle Donelan has accused a Labour MP of “misleading” the public after he shared on Twitter what she described as a “fake image” of the Prime Minister.
MP for Hull East Karl Turner posted a picture depicting Rishi Sunak pulling a pint at the Great British Beer Festival on Tuesday, seemingly being disapproved of by an onlooker.
The post quickly gained attention on the social media platform, with many users questioning its authenticity.
Retweeting Mr Turner’s post, Ms Donelan expressed her disapproval, stating that the sharing of such a “fake image” is “pretty desperate stuff by Labour”.
She said: “In the era of deepfakes and digitally distorted images, it’s even more important to be able to have reliable sources of information you can trust.
“No elected member of Parliament should be misleading the public with fake images. This is pretty desperate stuff from Labour…”
The Science Secretary then retweeted the “original” photograph, which was posted on the Prime Minister’s account and did not feature the onlooker giving him a disapproving side-eye.
The picture also confirmed that the pint of beer that Mr Sunak had just pulled had been replaced with one featuring a thick, white, badly poured head of foam.
Labour chairman of the Commons Business and Trade Committee Darren Jones came to Mr Turner’s defence, saying: “The real question is: how can anyone know if a photo is a deepfake?
“I wouldn’t criticise Karl Turner for sharing a photo that looks real to me.
“What is your Department doing to tackle deep fake photos, especially in advance of the next election?
“Let’s have that discussion.”
Mr Turner has been approached for comment.