Health minister Nadine Dorries accused of spreading 'fake news' about Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer

Health minister Nadine Dorries re-tweeted the clip of an interview with the Labour leader Credit: AP

Health minister Nadine Dorries has been accused of spreading "fake news" about Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

It comes after Ms Dorries shared a video on social media suggesting Sir Keir had been reluctant to prosecute grooming gangs when he was director of public prosecutions.

The MP for Mid Bedfordshire re-tweeted the clip of an interview with the new Labour leader in which he appeared to be listing a series of reasons for not bringing charges - including if the alleged victims had been in trouble with the police - with the comment "revealing".

But Labour said the video had clearly been "doctored" and that he was actually responding to a question from the interviewer about the flaws in previous guidance to prosecutors which he had withdrawn and replaced.

Ms Dorries at the opening of London's NHS Nightingale Hospital last month. Credit: AP

In response to the post by Ms Dorries Labour's Wes Streeting replied:

"What’s revealing is that: 1. You’ve spread fake news and indulged a smear being promoted by the far right. 2. You had time to do this despite being a minister in the Department of Health during a public health crisis."

"It’s either malevolence or stupidity. Probably both."

The former senior prosecutor Nazir Afzal - who was involved in bringing a number of cases - said the clip was being used to suggest Sir Keir did not take child sexual abuse seriously, when the opposite was true.

"As national lead, I can assure you that he and I put right the failings of a generation of those who should have safeguarded children.

"He inherited failure and left success," Mr Afzal tweeted.

A Labour Party source said: "This is a doctored video tweeted by a far-right social media account.

"As a government minister, we hope Nadine Dorries acknowledges this and takes it down."

Following the furore - the posting appeared to have been deleted from Ms Dorries's timeline.