Michael Gove has defended a “salty” social media post from his party that attacks Labour with an image of a BBC News presenter unwittingly giving the middle finger during a broadcast.
The image, from a BBC news bulletin where chief presenter Maryam Moshiri was seen raising her middle finger to the camera just as the broadcast began, went viral and she apologised.
The Tory party then used the image on X, formerly Twitter, to mock Sir Keir Starmer’s party.
A post on the official Conservative account wrote above the image: “Labour when you ask for their plans to tackle illegal migration.”
The post appeared to divide Tory MPs, with former minister Jonathan Gullis giving his approval on social media, while senior Tory MPs, including Alicia Kearns and Tobias Ellwood, expressed disapproval.
Asked on Sky’s Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips programme about the post, Housing Secretary Mr Gove said: “It’s certainly a salty intervention in public debate.
“But I think the important thing to bear in mind is that our political conversation takes place in a variety of different ways, on different platforms, and it’s important both to engage people where they are but also, a very powerful point is made is that Labour have nothing to say on the question of illegal migration.
“I think that anyone who has ever looked at my social media will see that I am no social media ninja.
“My social media is herbivorous, to put it mildly – but on social media you have a lively debate and that is a powerful contribution to a very lively debate.”