James Cleverly defends 'doctored' video of Keir Starmer in fiery exchange with Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain

Jacob Jarvis
Tory chairman James Cleverly was criticised by Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain: GMB

Tory chairman James Cleverly has defended a "doctored" video of Sir Keir Starmer in a fiery exchange with Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain.

The Conservatives have been widely criticised after posting a clip of Sir Keir which made it look as though he was stumped by a question on Labour's Brexit policy .

A clip from the party ends with Sir Keir, the shadow Brexit secretary, staring at the camera after being asked by Piers Morgan: "Why would the EU give you a good deal if they know you are going to actively campaign against it?"

When challenged by Morgan on why it was edited, Mr Cleverly claimed it was done in a bid to "shorten" the clip.

In the original interview on GMB on Tuesday, Sir Keir swiftly replied to the host: "Well, Piers, I have been talking to the EU, to political leaders across the EU27 countries for three years, and I know very well what the parameters are of any deal that they would do with a Labour government."

Mr Morgan said the Conservative Party was guilty of "reediting a piece of live television footage, to make it look like Sir Keir Starmer, one of the leading lights of the Labour Party was unable to answer a question, when in fact he answered it fluently, they may not agree with the answer, but he answered it fluently".

Mr Cleverly said: "I'll tell you why we clipped that video, it's because in the whole of that exchange, Sir Keir Starmer, who is the shadow Brexit secretary, was unable to credibly explain Labour's Brexit position.

"That's why we had to shorten the video, because otherwise..."

Morgan then interrupted him and said editing the video gave the Labour party "a get out".

Mr Cleverly, asked if the Tories doctored the video, said: "We edited the video... because we needed to shorten the video."

He was later asked on Radio 4 whether he regrets that the video was "doctored".

He said the party posted the full video around the time of the interview then "what we also did" was put forward a "light-hearted, satirical video" which he felt highlighted the "chaotic" stance of the Labour party on Brexit.

Sky's Kay Burley later launched a tirade against Mr Cleverly, insisting that Number 10 had promised her times with whoever they were sending for media appearances this morning but that he had then declined to appear on her programme.

She raised multiple issues she wanted to quiz him on and spoke of her anger she was unable to.

Ben De Pear, editor of Channel 4 news, also weighed in on the video row and said: "It's disingenuous & dangerous to compare the editing done in this political ad with what we do on OFCOM regulated TV news 'we edited this video just like you edit stuff on your programme' we go to great lengths to avoid anything like this & are rightfully held to account if we do."

Read more

Tories accused of 'doctoring' Sir Keir Starmer interview