Boris Johnson edited out of photo posted on Twitter by Business Secretary Grant Shapps

Boris Johnson has mysteriously been erased from a recent photo tweeted by Business Secretary Grant Shapps.

Tweeting in advance of the rocket launch from Spaceport Cornwall, beady-eyed social media users noticed that the image posted from Mr Shapps' social media account, was not the same as the original image, which included Mr Johnson.

The new image showed Mr Shapps enjoying a solitary visit to the Spaceport.

Mr Shapps spoke of his delight at backing the first-ever launch of a satellite from European soil, but it was the clearly edited photo that accompanied the tweet which drew most attention.

Speaking to Sky News following the failure of the launch, due to an "anomaly", Mr Shapps said that space is "difficult".

He added he had "no doubt" that the individuals who worked on the mission will "pick themselves up, dust themselves off and they'll go again once they find out what exactly went wrong with it".

The edited image has now been removed from Twitter, but the original remains on the Number 10 Flickr account, dated 9 June 2021.

A source close to the business secretary maintained that Mr Shapps was not aware that anyone had edited the picture.

"Obviously he wouldn't endorse anyone rewriting history by removing the former PM from a picture," they said.

In a response to a ministerial statement about the government's proposed legislation to control strikes on Tuesday, Labour MP Andrew Gwynne questioned the secretary on "erasing" Boris Johnson from his tweets.

He said: "I know the secretary of state earlier said he doesn't meaningfully erase the former prime minister from his tweets, but that's exactly what he did recently.

"Perhaps he should spend less time on photoshop and more time on the day job sitting down and negotiating."

This is not the first time an MP has fallen victim to the dangers of photo editing.

In 2015, David Cameron was criticised after a picture published on the official 10 Downing Street Facebook page was digitally enhanced to show him wearing a poppy.

The photo was hastily removed after the apparent botch job was mocked across social media.