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31st Jul 2022

Nadine Dorries criticised for retweeting image showing Boris being stabbed in back

Daniel Brown

Dorries is currently pushing through an Online Safety Bill to “create a safer internet”

Nadine Dorries has been slammed after retweeting a mocked-up image of Rishi Sunak stabbing Boris Johnson in the back with a knife.

An image began to circulate on social media over the weekend, which depicted ex-Chancellor Mr Sunak as Brutus, stabbing the Prime Minister – as Julius Caesar – in the back. The digitally altered image was tweeted on July 29 by a ‘LizForLeader’-supporting Twitter account.

The Culture Secretary shared the image on Saturday night (July 30), and it is thought she retweeted the post around the time she was at the PM’s wedding party at a Tory donor’s estate.

The caption alongside the image read: “He is running to become PM. His name is @RishiSunak.”

Dorries has come under criticism since sharing the image, with Greg Hands – Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth of the United Kingdom – condemning her action.

“It is not even a year since the stabbing of Sir David… so I think this is very, very bad taste, dangerous even,” said Hands, a strong backer of Sunak.

“I do find it distasteful and I do find it, less than a year after the stabbing of our colleague, in very, very poor taste, even verging on dangerous.”

MP Jacob Young, who also backs Mr Sunak, retweeted a post saying: “Secretary of State retweeting this. I’ll let you be the judge of how it comes across”.


Welsh Secretary Sir Robert Buckland, another supporter of Mr Sunak, told BBC Radio Wales: “I think that sort of imagery and narrative is not just incendiary, it’s wrong.

“I think it’s time for those who think that an argument about Prada shoes or earrings is more important, for instance, should wind their neck in and let people talk about the issues rather than the personality”.

Culture Secretary pushing through Online Safety Bill

Dorries’ retweet of the image comes at a time when she is pushing through an Online Safety Bill to “create a safer internet” and reduce “online harm.”

However, an ally of the Culture Secretary reportedly claimed that the mocked-up Julius Caesar image was an example of free speech. They also added that it was ‘clearly a digitally altered satire of a historical scene’.

It is thought that the retweet was made at some point after 5pm on Saturday and had still not been deleted by 13:45 on Sunday.

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