“This government will have integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level.” – Rishi Sunak
This is the sort of thing you expect from dictatorships, but is now happening in Tory Britain. A “Secretary of State”, no less thinks, this behaviour is OK. Nothing “bizarre” about it. What next? – Owl
Boris Johnson bizarrely photoshopped out of picture Grant Shapps tweeted about space launch
Poppy Wood inews.co.uk
Grant Shapps has denied doctoring a photograph of himself on a visit to Spaceport Cornwall in which former prime minister Boris Johnson appears to have been digitally deleted.
The Business Secretary shared a picture of himself visiting the rocket site in June 2021 ahead of Virgin Orbit’s unsuccessful satellite launch last night.
It showed Mr Shapps speaking to Virgin Orbit chief executive, Dan Hart, and another member of the space team in front of the LauncherOne rocket.
But canny observers on Twitter noticed that an almost-identical picture previously shared by No 10 had also featured then prime minister, Mr Johnson, standing in between the space scientists and Mr Shapps.
The pair visited the Spaceport site in Cornwall almost two years ago to discuss how Virgin Orbit would “help boost the UK’s incredible space industry, inspire the next generation, and enable vital environmental monitoring”.
The Business Secretary shared a picture of himself visiting the rocket site in June 2021 ahead of Virgin Orbit’s unsuccessful satellite launch last night
An almost-identical picture shared in June 2021 showed Mr Johnson standing between Mr Shapps and the space scientists (Photo: Grant Shapps/Twitter)
Mr Shapps has since deleted the tweet in which Mr Johnson appears to have been erased.
A source close to Business Secretary said: “Grant wasn’t aware anyone had edited the picture. He removed it as soon as it was pointed out. Obviously he wouldn’t endorse anyone rewriting history by removing the former PM from a picture.”
It comes as senior Tory MPs continue to distance themselves from the former prime minister as they attempt to rehabilitate the Conservative Party’s reputation following a slew of scandals embroiling Mr Johnson.
A Labour Party source said: “The Tories might want to erase their own leaders — but the country is stuck with the consequences of their appalling record: a crashed economy, a broken health service, and an asylum system that doesn’t work.”
The debacle comes after Virgin Orbit’s first space launch from UK soil ended in failure last night despite a promising start.
The evening had started out successfully with LauncherOne taking off at around 10pm while operators at Spaceport Cornwall blasted out the Rolling Stones hit Start Me Up.
But shortly before midnight, the US space company announced there had been an anomaly which meant the rocket containing nine satellites was heading back down to Earth. The rocket is assumed to have burned up on reentry, destroying all the satellites on board.