TOP UK politicians have accused celebrities of spreading fake animal rights news on social media.
Senior figures hit out after a string of UK TV stars said the British government claimed animals don’t feel emotion and pain.
The government flatly denied the claim and said the stars had got their facts wrong and used social media to spread fake news.
Articles claiming animal welfare will suffer after Britain leaves the EU – known as Brexit – were retweeted to more than two million followers by the celebrities which included TV presenter Ben Fogle, comedian and presenter Sue Perkins and quiz show host Rachel Riley and MP and Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas.
Perkins went as far as to brand the Government “shameful b*****ds”.
The social media storm happened after Lucas tried to add a clause in the EU Withdrawal Bill for animals to be recognised as “sentient beings” — capable of feeling pain and emotion.
But the Government rejected the move, arguing animals were already classified as such under existing domestic UK laws.
Mr Gove claimed Britain would be able to introduce tougher laws post-Brexit and that the claims by the celebs were wrong.
He said: “On social media there was a suggestion that somehow MPs had voted against the principle that animals are sentient beings. That did not happen.”
Asked about the row Mr Gove hit out at fake reporting for “unfairly representing the Government’s position”.
He said there is an “unhappy trend now for people to believe the raw authentic voice of social media is more reliable than what is said in Hansard [the parliamentary record] or on the BBC”.
And he added: “We have got to stand up against the way in which social media corrupts and distorts both reporting and decision making.”
Fogle said he was happy to apologise but Perkins refused to back down.