Jacob Rees-Mogg called out for spreading ‘fake news’

PUBLISHED: 11:40 07 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:46 07 September 2018

Jacob Rees-Mogg on LBC Radio. Image: LBC/Global.

Jacob Rees-Mogg on LBC Radio. Image: LBC/Global.

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Leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg has been lambasted for spreading “fake news” after admitting he had tweeted stories he knew were factually incorrect.

A caller to Nick Ferrari’s LBC show raised the matter of a tweet from Rees-Mogg earlier this year which referenced a Sun article about potential savings on goods from Brexit.

Social media users had been quick to point out the inaccuracies in the article, but Rees-Mogg did not retract the tweet, even when the newspaper was forced to admit the figures were incorrect.

“I accept there were some errors in the figures but the broad principle is right,” he said.

“I noted even when I tweeted it that there was a mistake in relation to the savings they proposed on tobacco - but the principle is absolutely true.”

The radio presenter seemed unconvinced by his explanation.

“Why would you tweet a mistake, Mr Rees-Mogg? Your late father was the editor of the Times, do you think he would have run an article that was ‘basically right’ but a few facts were wrong?”

But Mogg insisted that “an article in the Times is a different level of seriousness to something that is tweeted”.

He added: “Twitter is about passing on gobbets of information that may be of interest to people.”

“You tweet fake news!” insisted radio presenter Nick Ferrari. “You saw something, you agreed that it was wrong, but you decided to tweet it anyway!”

Rees-Mogg, however, did not agree. “I noted in the tweet that I didn’t think the savings on tobacco were realistic or words to that effect”.

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