FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Members Of The UK Government Breaking COVID-19 Guidelines?

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows members of the U.K. government breaking COVID-19 guidelines while performing karaoke.

Verdict: False

The video shows Matt Hancock, who formerly served as the nation’s health minister, singing karaoke in 2017, years before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Fact Check:

A video was recently released that shows former British Parliament spokesperson Allegra Stratton in December 2020 joking about a staff Christmas party that was held at that time, according to CBS News. The video quickly became controversial, as it implied members of the government attended a party while the country was in the midst of a COVID-19 lockdown that banned such gatherings, the outlet reported.

Now, another video has been shared to Facebook allegedly showing members of the British government partying and performing karaoke amid the pandemic in spite of restrictions. The 38-second video shows a man and woman singing Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” while dozens of people are dancing close by. None of the people in the video are wearing face masks. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show House Democrats Vacationing In Italy?)

“Well here is the icing on the cake,” reads the video’s caption. “I have no words. The absolute liberty that this is, yet I’m laughing because these fools are pathetic. Stop letting these piss taking imbeciles tell us what to do and how to live…. Paid for by the people. Whilst the nation was told not to mix and people were not allowed to be with their loved ones dying in hospital. Not to mention children who couldn’t have their parents watch school plays and were stopped from singing in class. Fuck you gov. We are coming for justice.”

The video, however, was not taken during the COVID-19 pandemic. A reverse image search reveals a slightly different video of the same event was shared in 2017 by the Daily Mail, which explained it showed then-Culture Minister Matt Hancock singing karaoke after a conservative conference that year. Hancock served as culture minister from 2017 to 2019, before serving as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care from July 2018 to June 2021, according to his government biography.

A 2017 article from The Times further explains that Hancock was joined on the stage by former Minister of State at the Department for Environment Thérèse Coffey and former Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills Anne Milton. These events occurred well before the COVID-19 virus spread across the globe in early 2020.

This is not the first time the U.K. government has been the subject of coronavirus-related misinformation. In February, Check Your Fact debunked a viral image that purportedly showed a U.K. Cabinet Office message to the country’s government ministers instructing them how to destroy businesses.

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter

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