James Cleverly defends 'doctored' Good Morning Britain clip of Labour's Brexit stance

Conservative party chairman James Cleverly has defended an edited campaign video which critics claim has been "doctored".

The video clip taken from Good Morning Britain and circulated on Twitter by the official Conservative Party account shows Labour Brexit Secretary, Sir Keir Starmer, struggling to answer a question about his party's position on leaving the EU.

However critics claim the clip changes the sentiment of what Sir Keir said in his full, unedited interview on the show.

Cleverly told ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand: "We made the video shorter, we put on a soundtrack. The video was edited, we've never said otherwise.

"It's obvious we edited it. We put graphics on it, we put a soundtrack on it, we didn't pretend it was raw footage, but we had already posted the full, unedited video."

Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Cleverly defended the clip on Good Morning Britain, saying: "It's because in the whole of that exchange, Sir Keir Starmer, who's the shadow Brexit secretary, was unable to credibly explain Labour's Brexit position."

Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan said: "Yeah, we know... as Jonny Mercer, your own MP said this morning, that makes it all the more inexplicable that you would doctor the video, giving the Labour Party a get out.

  • Watch the unedited video clip claim below

"You had enough there."

Mr Cleverly replied: "I would suggest if people want to see the full video, they can go to the official CCHQ Twitter feed where the full video is available."

Mr Morgan then asks: "Do you accept you doctored the video?"

Mr Cleverly replies: "We edited the video, just like you edit stuff for your programme, just like everybody else, because we needed to shorten the video."

  • Watch the clip the Conservative Party published on its social media

Appearing on BBC, Mr Cleverly said the video was a "lighthearted satirical" video on Labour's Brexit position.

"What we also did, and this is not unique to us, is we did a lighthearted satirical video, obviously so with a comedy soundtrack, highlighting the Labour Party's chaotic position on Brexit." he said.

Asked whether his party had "posted a lie" online, he replied: "I disagree with your assessment of it."

Mr Cleverly was also due to appear on Sky News and was "empty-chaired" by host Kay Burley.

The Conservative Party chairman tweeted he did not appear on the programme as he was scheduled to appear on another radio show at the same time.

Mr Cleverly's response comes after high-profile Conservatives Andrew Bridgen and Jacob Rees-Mogg apologised for comments they made about Grenfell Tower.

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