I was a bit surprised to see Tory MP for Gloucester Richard Graham announcing on Twitter that US corporate giant Mars Inc had decided to relocate its European confectionery headquarters from Brussels to London – with the loss of over 500 jobs in Belgium:
I was also somewhat surprised to note that none of the mainstream press – either pro or anti-Brexit – were reporting this important news.
And I was even more surprised to note the company itself has issued no press releases about it.
But that would probably be because it’s not true.
Mr Graham simply made it up, thinking nobody would notice and call him out on it (from the Mars press team):
But the fake news has already done its job. It was quickly and widely shared on social media amongst pro-Brexit extremists:
Of course, we all know right-wing trolls, Russian bots and stupid real people like to share pro-Brexit fake news on social media, but now we have elected MPs caught red-handed doing it too.
And not only is this being done openly, but they’re getting away with it.
Because, while it’s extraordinary for an elected MP to use meetings in Westminster to push such an obvious load of baloney – it’s even more extraordinary that not one member of the mainstream press in the UK thought this scandalous behaviour was even worth mentioning.
And even more extraordinary that a global corporation like Mars – who were tagged in the original tweet containing the lie about them – should turn a blind eye to this use of their company to spread false propaganda on such an important topic as Brexit.
If this had been a Labour or anti-Brexit MP spreading fake news – the press would have been all over it.