Image of pro-EU march was taken in 2019, not last weekend

28 September 2023
What was claimed

An image shows a “National Rejoin March” taking place in London last weekend.

Our verdict

This image was taken during a different march held by demonstrators against Brexit in October 2019.

A social media post criticising a lack of media coverage of a march against Brexit which took place in London over the weekend uses an image taken during a different march held several years ago.

The image originally was shared by former Labour MEP Richard Corbett, as part of a post on X (formerly Twitter) which reads: “So not even a brief mention on @BBCNews tonight of the massive #RejoinMarch in London with many 1000s demonstrating to reverse Brexit.”

A march by protestors opposed to Brexit, called the “National Rejoin March”, did take place in London on Saturday, 23 September. However, the image, which has also been shared by a number of Facebook users, appears to actually have been taken during another march held before the UK formally left the EU.

The image in question was published by Reuters, and shows a march by EU supporters held in London on 19 October 2019.

Another clue that the photo was not taken recently is that scaffolding can be seen on the Elizabeth Tower (or ‘Big Ben’) in the background of the image—this scaffolding was in place between 2017 and 2022 while the tower underwent renovations.

Mr Corbett told Full Fact that the post in question was one of a number he shared about the march that day, and that the use of the old photo was a mistake. He added that when it was brought to his attention he shared a new version of the post with an image from the weekend’s march.

The march on 23 September was covered by some national news outlets, however it does not appear to have featured on the BBC News channel

When we asked the BBC to confirm whether it covered the march on any of its BBC One bulletins that day, it directed us to a complaints response issued on 27 September, which states: “BBC News is unable to cover every march or protest that takes place. The decision on which stories to cover are taken on editorial merit, with a number of factors considered including the day’s news agenda and whether the subject of the march is a particularly newsworthy or topical issue.

“We regularly - and will continue to - represent a range of views on the EU and Brexit, examining and analysing the impact of the UK’s decision to leave.”

Misleading images are some of the most common kinds of misinformation found online, and often circulate widely. For tips on how to verify images before you share them, read our guide.

Image courtesy of Franz Wender

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