Chris Heaton-Harris hits out at fake news over 'utter tosh' resignation reports

Chris Heaton Harris has branded reports spread on Wednesday night that he was resigning as NI Secretary as "utter tosh" and said someone is spreading fake news about him. Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris has said someone has spread a fake email about him, claiming he was resigning.

Mr Heaton-Harris has clarified that he has not resigned from his role after the email was circulated.

The fake statement was emailed to print titles on the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) circulation list on Wednesday evening.

The Conservative MP described the content of the email as “complete and utter tosh” and called on Elon Musk to eliminate fake news on Twitter as one of his first moves as chief executive of the tech giant.

It comes after the Northern Ireland Secretary extended the deadline for calling a fresh Stormont election to January 19.

Mr Heaton-Harris said: “Hello Twitter! Someone has sent a fake e-mail to press outlets saying I’ve resigned.

“This is totally untrue. I hope one of @elonmusk first moves is to eliminate fake news on Twitter… Very exciting I know, but complete and utter tosh.”

The fake email included fake quotes from the Northern Ireland Secretary citing reasons for his alleged resignation.

A short time later a legitimate email was sent by the NIO with the subject line read: “Fake email this evening”.

A spokeswoman said an email had been sent with a “fake quote from the Secretary of State”.

She asked members of the media to “disregard this email which is not a verified Government account”.

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