Unrelated video passed off as Rishi Sunak's wife using Instagram while driving

By: Rahul Adhikari
February 15 2024

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Unrelated video passed off as Rishi Sunak's wife using Instagram while driving

Social media posts claim that Akshata Murty Rishi Sunak's wife was caught using Instagram while driving. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The woman in the viral video is not Rishi Sunak's wife Akshata Murty. An unrelated video has been misattributed to her.

Claim ID 4154d70f

What is the claim?

A video that recently went viral on social media claims that Akshata Murty, the wife of U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, was caught using Instagram while driving. The footage depicts a confrontation where a man questions a woman, seated in the driver's seat of a car, about her use of Instagram during the drive. The woman responds with non-verbal head gestures without verbalizing any response.

The video spread quickly on Facebook, with numerous users posting comments like, “Rishi Sunak wife caught using mobile phone scanning Instagram whilst driving (sic).” One such post garnered 811 reactions, 477 comments, and 461 shares. 

Screenshots of the viral videos. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, an old, unrelated video is being shared as Sunak’s wife using her phone while driving. The woman in the video is not Murty.

What did we find?

Upon examining the video, it becomes evident that the woman portrayed is not Murty. A side-by-side comparison of the woman in the video and Murty reveals that they are indeed different individuals. This comparison underscores the misinformation being circulated.

Comparison between the woman in the viral video and Akshata Murty. (Source: Facebook/Instagram/Modified by Logically Facts)

Further scrutiny revealed the video contains a watermark, "@cyclingmikey," linked to a YouTube channel operated by Michael van Erp, also known as CyclingMikey. Van Erp is renowned for documenting traffic violations in London, mainly focusing on drivers distracted by their mobile phones.

A review of CyclingMikey's YouTube channel uncovered the original video, posted on July 21, 2021, which includes viral footage. Notably, the video does not reference Sunak or Murty, debunking the claim linking them with the incident. The viral clip is visible in a segment running from 2:05 to 2:13 minutes in the 2:52-minute video on the channel.

Logically Facts could not ascertain the identity of the woman behind the wheel in the viral video. However, the said person is not Murty.

The verdict

The claim that the video showcases Akshata Murty using her phone while driving is unfounded. The viral footage is, in fact, an unrelated video from 2021, mistakenly linked to Murty. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false.

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Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before