Tory Liam Fox brazenly claimed he had not made a controversial tweet on live TV, while sitting directly in front of a giant picture of it.
The tweet, which was sent in March 2016, read: “The United Kingdom, is one of the few countries in the European Union that does not need to bury its 20th century history.”
It re-emerged online last week, prompted by reports that officials had begun referring to their post- Brexit plan to secure trade deals in Africa as “Empire 2.0”.
The tweet sparked anger that he was attempting to whitewash some of Britain’s more unsavoury actions on the World’s stage, including the brutal crushing of the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya and mass killings in Boer War concentration camps.
During an appearance on Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday, the International Trade Secretary claimed the tweet had not been sent by him, but by the Guardian – and that it had been taken out of context by the newspaper.
This is untrue.
Here is the tweet, which is still viewable on Fox’s account.
However, it is true that Fox himself removed some of the context of his tweet.
The tweet leaves off the last few words of the sentence, which he said in a speech to the Scottish Conservative conference.
He said: “I’m a Eurosceptic, because I believe that this nation state should be able to govern itself and control its own borders without interference from authorities outside our borders.
“The United Kingdom, is one of the few countries in the European Union that does not need to bury its 20th century history in a pan-European project.”
He said today: “Just as a point of clarification, I didn’t send out a tweet. Number two, it was taken from a speech I gave about a year and a half ago and it was tweeted out, I think, by the Guardian, and it was an incomplete reference in any case.
“What I said was Britain has…because…Britain has always felt less emotionally attached to the European Union because in our history we had never felt the need to bury the 20th Century in a pan-European project.”