No, the Mail didn’t use an old photo of Jeremy Corbyn to claim he wasn’t social distancing on his birthday

29th May 2020


A picture of Jeremy Corbyn with a man reproduced on the MailOnline website claiming to show him on 26 May 2020, is actually from 2016.


This picture was not taken in 2016, it seems to have been taken on 26 May 2020 as reported.

A Facebook post claiming that a picture on the MailOnline website of Jeremy Corbyn during lockdown was actually taken in 2016, has been shared on Facebook.

The image shows Mr Corbyn standing with another man, and the Facebook post claims that the Mail used an old photo to wrongly suggest he was breaking social distancing rules currently in place. 

The overwhelming evidence shows that the picture was taken on 26 May 2020, as the Mail claimed, not in 2016.

The picture, from a now-deleted post on the London Boaters Facebook group, showed a man standing with Mr Corbyn. The accompanying text said the picture had been taken “today” (26 May) and that it was his birthday.

We have seen other pictures posted on 26 May that show Mr Corbyn visited a cafe in Waltham Abbey that day too. He is wearing the same glasses, distinctive green t-shirt and orange gloves, and seems to be holding the same coffee cup. 

The text accompanying the picture in question said the Facebook user had encountered Mr Corbyn at “Romney Marsh Lock”, which seems to be a misspelling of “Rammey Marsh Lock” which is also where the cafe is.

A photo posted on 26 May from Mr Corbyn’s son’s company’s Twitter account also seems to show him wearing the same outfit.

We have asked Jeremy Corbyn’s office for comment.

How did they make this mistake?

The post we are checking claims the image was actually taken in 2016. Comments under the post show that some users used Google’s Reverse Image Search tool to come to this conclusion.

One commenter has posted a screenshot from Google of the picture of Mr Corbyn accompanying a Daily Mail article from 2016. But on closer inspection, this article has nothing to do with Mr Corbyn, and is actually about a wildlife photographer called Iain Scott, and was published in November 2016.

Doing a reverse image search on the photograph of Mr Corbyn is likely to have surfaced this article from 2016 as the 2020 image of Mr Corbyn may have appeared in the sidebar of the 2016 article’s page (where the most recent articles are advertised).

Although Google’s Reverse Image Search can be a useful tool in identifying misinformation, it does not always tell the full story.