Photo of man with swastika tattoo is actually from 2016

17 November 2023
What was claimed

A photo of a man showing a swastika tattoo on his side comes from protests in London on 11 November 2023.

Our verdict

This image was actually taken in November 2016, at a protest against the opening of a new mosque in Bolton.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter) on 11 November 2023, Diane Abbott, the independent MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, claimed that a man showing a swastika tattoo on the side of his body was involved in demonstrations in London at the time. In fact, the photo was taken seven years earlier.

The image shows a man dressed in black, with what appears to be a Royal British Legion poppy badge on his jacket, who is revealing the skin on the side of his body where a tattoo of a swastika is visible. 

In Ms Abbott’s post, the image was accompanied by a photo of former home secretary Suella Braverman and a caption reading: “Suella says: ‘Decent British people have had enough of these displays of thuggish intimidation and extremism’ Does she mean guys like this one out today?”

However, as others have pointed out, the image of this man was actually taken in Bolton at a protest against a new mosque on 26 November 2016, not in November 2023. 

If an MP makes a false or misleading claim on social media, they should correct it quickly in a clear and transparent manner, including on the same platform where the claim was made. 

We have contacted Ms Abbott and will update this article if she responds. 

Image courtesy of Chris McAndrew

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After we published this fact check, we contacted Diane Abbott to ask her to amend/ correct her claim on social media.

Diane Abbott is yet to respond.

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