‘Make England Great Again’ quote does not really come from Lee Anderson

23 May 2023
What was claimed

A “Make England Great Again” quote, which suggests Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have done nothing “to make an Englishman proud” and instead have had “one long moan”, comes from Conservative party deputy chair Lee Anderson.

Our verdict

False. Lee Anderson did not say this. It comes from a political sketch written by John Crace for the Guardian.

A quote some online are claiming is from Conservative party deputy chair Lee Anderson has been shared on Facebook and Twitter.

The quote includes the phrase “Make England Great Again”, before going on to say: “And I mean England. For far too long we’ve wasted far too much time on trying to keep the rest of the United Kingdom happy. But think of it this way. Name me one thing that Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland has done to make an Englishman proud. Precisely. Nothing. All we’ve had is one long moan. ‘It’s not fair’. ‘We want more’. Well, I say enough is enough. Time for England to put England first. The sooner the rest of the UK understands that what’s good for England is good for them the better.”

However, this is not a quote from the politician, but an extract from a political sketch in the Guardian written by satirist John Crace, headlined: “Bring back hanging and real men: making the Tories great again, by Lee Anderson”.

The sketch is clearly labelled as such on the Guardian’s website, with John Crace’s photograph appearing at the top. A subheading says: “The Guardian has been given exclusive access to the new deputy chair of the party’s 10-point plan”. But there is no indication in the social media posts we’ve seen that the quote is not real and was in fact written by someone else as satire. And many of the comments below the social media posts suggest the quote has been taken as something Mr Anderson really said.

Asked by Full Fact to comment on the claims on social media, Mr Anderson criticised the practice of “dressing up [...] outrageous claims as a political sketch”. 

One post on Facebook, which copied the text of the full article and explicitly claimed it was “not satire”, included the passage: “We could even reintroduce public executions. I’m sure people would want to pay to see them. Tory party members could have priority booking.”

False or misleading claims about politicians have the potential to affect people’s opinions of individuals, parties or how they choose to vote. We often see these types of claims spread widely online. We’ve written before about quotes or tweets falsely attributed to Diane Abbott, Nadine Dorries, Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron

Image courtesy of David Woolfall

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