International Trade Secretary Liam Fox denied sending out a controversial tweet about Europe, while sitting in front of a giant picture of it.
During an appearance on Sky News', Sophy Ridge on Sunday, an image appeared behind the Conservative minister of of the social media message.
Bearing the name Dr Liam Fox MP and his picture, it read: “The United Kingdom, is one of the few countries in the European Union that does not need to bury its 20th century history #scc16”.
But although it was published on his official Twitter account, Mr Fox denied he had sent it.
“Just as a point of clarification, I didn’t send out a tweet,” he said. “Number two, it was taken from a speech I gave about a year and a half ago and it was tweeted out, I think, by The Guardian, and it was an incomplete reference in any case.
“What I said was Britain has…because…Britain has always felt less emotionally attached to the European Union because in our history we had never felt the need to bury the 20th Century in a pan-European project.”
A confused Ms Ridge motioned to the big screen, which displayed the tweet, but Dr Fox did not turn around and the conversation moved swiftly on.
The tweet, published on 4 March, 2016, still appears on his feed.
The text was taken from a speech he gave to the Scottish Conservative conference last year although the post did not include the words "in a pan-European project".
“I’m a Eurosceptic, because I believe that this nation state should be able to govern itself and control its own borders without interference from authorities outside our borders," he told delegates at the time. “The United Kingdom, is one of the few countries in the European Union that does not need to bury its 20th century history in a pan-European project.”
Dr Fox was widely mocked on social media for the gaffe.
Parliamentary sketch writer Tom Peck wrote: “Well this was better than I even dared to dream.”
Dr Fox's parliamentary office refused to comment to The Independent, but it is understood that he was denying having personally tweeted the quote.
But a spokesman for his department said: “The tweet from March 2016 is an incomplete quote from over a year ago."
It is thought that someone other than the MP was live tweeting his speech at the 2016 conference and mistakenly missed out the last four words of the sentence.Reuse content