Daily Mail mistakes spoof ‘former Tory MP’ for real MP

Failing to spot a hoax Twitter account, despite the clue being in the name, the Daily Mail quoted a former Tory MP that doesn’t exist, except as a parody.

In an article about raw sewage being pumped into the Cornish coastline, the Mail included a ‘quote’ by the spoof former Conservative MP for Dorset East ‘Sir Michael Take CBE,’ suggesting that the incident was another benefit of Brexit.  

The text read: “But former Conservative MP for Dorset East, Sir Michael Take CBE said: “This is sewage being sensibly dispersed at St Agnes in Cornwall today.

“You’ll see the beach is empty so NO ONE is being harmed. This would of course have been stopped by the nit picking EU.

“Brexit means we can now employ such SAFE procedures. Good news!”

After spotting his ‘quote’ in the article, Michael Take shared the blunder on twitter, posting:

“Delighted to see that the Daily Mail has had the good sense to quote me regarding the government’s sensible idea to disperse sewage in coastal waters in a safe manner whilst beaches are empty.

“The Daily Mail continues to be an example of rigorous and well researched journalism.”

The gaffe incited plenty of ridicule on social media.

Guardian columnist George Monbiot said: “It’s reassuring to see that the Mail’s due diligence is up to its usual standards.”

Brendan May wrote: “Oh my god the Mail has quoted this parody account thinking it’s real, just absolutely fantastic.”

Another pointed to the double blunder made by the Mail:

“They actually missed two absolute giveaways to make that blunder – the name Sir Michael is the obvious one, but also there has never been a constituency called Dorset East. Many years ago there was a constituency called East Dorset.”

The Mail’sTurquoise sea turns BROWN as raw sewage is pumped into water along beautiful Cornish coastline’ was originally published at 17:58 on October 30. It was updated at 10:28 on October 31, and, unsurprisingly, no longer includes Sir Michael Take’s quote.

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward

Image credit: Twitter screen grab

Comments are closed.