Communities Secretary Sajid Javid caused controversy last week by tweeting an image of a vile ‘Punish a Muslim’ letter that he claimed to have received by post, under a one-word comment of the hashtag ‘#fanmail‘.
The letter turned out to be a cropped image of a letter sent to someone else, as this excellent comparison animation posted by a Twitter respondent shows:
Mr Javid subsequently claimed that he had used the image of someone else’s letter because:
The nature of the sensitive information on the original, when the ‘exact copy’ contained no such information, is unclear.
The SKWAWKBOX spoke to the Metropolitan Police about any abusive letters received by MPs last Thursday – the day on which Mr Javid made his claim. A spokesperson confirmed that an MP had received one of the letters, but would not confirm which MP.
However, the Met also advised that two members of the MP’s staff were taken to hospital because of their contact with the letter.
This might explain why Javid did not post an image of the original letter – but raises another question.
Below are screengrabs of Sajid Javid’s entire Twitter feed since Thursday, as it currently stands (12.39pm 19 March 2018), including his replies to tweets sent to him and his original ‘#fanmail’ tweet. The images can be enlarged by opening each in a new tab, or by zooming in if on a mobile device:
Remember, on the 15th two of Mr Javid’s staff – assuming he is the Met’s unnamed MP – have just been taken to hospital after exposure to a potentially harmful substance.
On the 15th, he found time to tweet an image of a (not the) hate-letter. He found time to tweet ‘You’re welcome’ in response to a journalist’s comment about his helpful talking speed. He found time to retweet a number of comments on other topics and a leaflet about a ‘Nominated Neighbour’ scheme.
He found time to say ‘yes’ to a query whether the letter he’d tweeted had been sent to him and to answer a criticism of his policy of teaching English to immigrants.
In the following days, he found time to tweet on a number of topics, including a selfie of him at a business lunch in his constituency and a picture of him at a school debating competition there too.
But not, it seems, anything about two staffers taken to hospital with possible chemical or biological poisoning – neither to express concern for their welfare, nor to express relief that they were discharged.
Press reports at the time do not seem to mention any staff in hospital – except for one that mentions Labour MP Rupa Huq’s staff after she received a letter earlier in the week – so it appears Javid did not mention them to reporters either.
This was in stark contrast to Rupa Huq, the Labour MP who had one staff member taken to hospital and tweeted several times about her concern and eventual relief.
We asked Mr Javid why he had not mentioned his two staff – assuming, of course, that they were his two staff:
So far, he has not responded.
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