WATCH: Conservative minister apologises for 'doctored' Keir Starmer video

Posted On: 
12th November 2019

A Cabinet minister has apologised following a row over a heavily-edited video produced by the Conservatives on Labour's Brexit policy.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak apologised for the controversial Tory video
Credit: 
ITV

A furious row erupted last week over the clip, which appeared to show Keir Starmer struggling to answer a question while being interviewed on Good Morning Britain.

It was chopped to make it look like the Shadow Brexit Secretary froze when asked by Piers Morgan about the EU's willingness to negotiate a new withdrawal agreement with Labour.

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Tory chairman James Cleverly initially tried to defend the video, which was viewed more than a million times, by claiming it had to be "shortened" for social media.

But appearing on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Rishi Sunak admitted the Conservatives had gone "too far".

He said: "I think it probably did go a bit too far and there are some lessons we can learn from, I appreciate that.

“It was done in the spirit of humour, but I appreciate it didn’t land properly and it probably went a bit too far, I think you’re right on that.”

When asked by Mr Morgan whether the Tories accepted they had “faked” the segment to “create a false impression to affect the electorate,” the minister added: “It was a video that was done in jest, and I can appreciate and I can acknowledge and I say you’re right, it went too far and I can acknowledge that.

“I’m sorry it went a bit too far and that clearly in hindsight is what happened…”

His comments are in stark contrast to Mr Cleverly, who said last week: "I'll tell you why we clipped that video. It is 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, and that is why we had to shorten the video.

He added: "We edited it, just as you edit stuff on your programme, just like everyone else, because we needed to shorten the video."