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‘Global Britain?’: Welsh Tory MP mocked for using US warship photo in British armed forces post

17 Mar 2021 3 minute read
USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19). Inset: Sarah Atherton MP. Photo by David Woolfall, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.

A Welsh Tory MP has been mocked for using a photo of a US warship in a post about the British armed forces.

Sarah Atherton, who represents the constituency of Wrexham, tweeted about the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, by the UK Government, which includes a plan to lift the cap on nuclear weapons and a pledge to do more on the “systemic challenge” of China.

In her tweet, the Wrexham MP included a photo of a warship that was overlayed with the Union Jack, included her official signature, the phrase “Global Britain in a Competitive Age’, as well as the information that she is a Defence Select Committee Member.

An eagle-eyed Twitter account for Navy Lookout, a website which provides independent Royal Navy news and analysis, told the MP that it was a US Navy command ship, not a British one.

The photo used is of the USS Mount Whitney, which is one of two Blue Ridge-class amphibious command ships of the United States Navy and is the flagship and command ship of the United States Sixth Fleet.

USS Mount Whitney also serves as the Afloat Command Platform (ACP) of Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO. At the time of her commissioning, it joined her sister ship Blue Ridge as having the distinction of carrying the world’s most sophisticated electronics suites.

In the tweet, which included emojis of the British and Welsh flags, Sarah Atherton said: “The Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, has set out our vision for the UK’s role in the world over the next decade.

Navy Lookout replied: “That’s a photo of a US Navy command ship BTW.”

Tweet by Sarah Atherton MP about the Integrated Review

A Twitter account that goes by the name of Atherton Fact Check, and describes itself as a Sarah Atherton Fact Checker, said: “Oops wrong navy…!”

Alan Roberts said: “That’s just made me fall about laughing. Thanks @NavyLookout. Says it all really.”

Rob Jones said: “Awesome. I didn’t recognise the shape when I saw it.”

One Twitter account said: “I could tell just by looking at the stern.”

Another Twitter account responded simply with a stream of laugh emojis.

Sarah Atherton has been contacted for comment.

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