Some social media users are sharing an alleged Daily Mail front page that says high-profile Brexit supporters and campaigners are “manipulating voters” over Brexit. However, there is no evidence the British newspaper published such a cover, which appears to be digitally altered.
One Twitter user, whose tweet has been shared more than 3,100 times (here), posted a screenshot of the mocked-up Dec. 14, 2017, front page, which reads: “They were all involved in manipulating voters to believe in a brexit which they have failed to deliver on. Their 2016 pledges have not materialised. Instead of less red tape, it’s increased – damaging UK exporters. PROUD OF YOURSELVES?” [sic].
It also features photos of eight Brexit supporters: former prime minister Boris Johnson, former minister Michael Gove, former Vote Leave director Dominic Cummings, Vote Leave founder Daniel Hannan, former Vote Leave chief executive Matthew Elliott, former chief negotiator for exiting the European Union David Frost, Leave.EU co-founder Arron Banks and former UKIP leader Nigel Farage.
Other Twitter users appear to have been duped into thinking the fabricated cover page is real. One asks (here “Wasn’t The Daily Fail right there with them all along?” Another writes (here “I don’t believe I’m seeing this from the Mail, for once they’re publishing the truth, what many of us are thinking and saying, the Brexit Boris and Frost negotiated, is absolutely rubbish and is ruining many businesses in this country and is going to make us all poorer.”
The Daily Mail declined to comment when approached by Reuters.
The real front page from the same date (here, here and here) featured images of seven then-Conservative lawmakers: Dominic Grieve, Anna Soubry, Ken Clarke, Nicky Morgan, Antoinette Sandbach, Heidi Allen and Sarah Wollaston, along with four others who remain Conservative lawmakers today: Stephen Hammond, Bob Neill, Jonathan Djanogly and Oliver Heald. All 11 voted against the government in December 2017 and in favour of Parliament holding a “meaningful vote” on any Brexit deal then-Prime Minister Theresa May agreed with the European Union (here ).
Text from the legitimate cover reads: “Just as the newly confident Tories inch ahead in the polls, 11 self-consumed malcontents pull the rug from under our EU negotiators, betray their leader, party and 17.4m Brexit voters and – most damning of all – increase the possibility of a Marxist in No.10. PROUD OF YOURSELVES?”
False/digitally altered. The Daily Mail did not publish a front page about Brexit supporters and campaigners “manipulating voters.”
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.