Video of U.K. Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey is not recent but from 2020

By: Iryna Hnatiuk
June 14 2024

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Video of U.K. Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey is not recent but from 2020

The video of U.K. Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey is not recent, it was filmed in 2020

Fact-Check

The Verdict Misleading

The video was filmed before 2021, most likely during the earlier stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Claim ID 1fc374f2

Context

On June 13, 2024, the X (formerly Twitter) account of the British newspaper The Telegraph published (archived here) what they called “a new video of Lib Dem leader Ed Davey.” The post included the video of the politician apparently under the influence of alcohol outside a pub, claiming that the Government is entirely directionless. 

The video was shared as recent; however, a closer look shows that it was filmed in 2020.

In the clip, someone off-camera exclaims, “It’s Ed!” and approaches the Liberal Democrat leader, who greets him with a smile.

The person asks, “What’s going on?” Ed Davey says, “Tell me. I don’t know. The government doesn’t know, do they?”

When told he must “fix everything,” he says, “We’ll try to fix it.”

And he adds, “God, we need it. It’s a complete disaster, isn’t it? It’s not just COVID, it’s the whole b***y lot. They seem completely directionless.”

The first thing worth noting is that the piece in The Telegraph dedicated to the same video was published with the headline “Watch: Boozy Ed Davey swears at the Government in unearthed COVID-era video.” It does not state that the video was filmed recently and refers to the COVID pandemic period. The post, which reached over 311,100 views on X at the time of writing, claims it was “new.”

The video was first shared on TikTok (archived here) with the overlaid text “Bumping into a drunk Ed Davey outside your local…” There is #generalelection among hashtags, which implies the video is recent and related to the current electoral process in the U.K. Conversely, the account’s bio says, “Political comedy & satire…” giving an understanding that its content requires precise fact-checking. 

Logically Facts has contacted the TikTok account that originally uploaded it and we will update this check if we receive a response.

A closer look

The main detail that suggests the video could have been filmed during the pandemic is the elbow bump — a common greeting used during the lockdown as a substitution for handshakes. At the 0:26-0:27 timestamp, Ed Davey also says, “It’s not just COVID.”

The pub in the background appears to be the Prince of Wales in Surbiton, south-west London. 

(Source: TikTok/Screenshots/Markup by Logically Facts)


The pub in the background is Prince of Wales in Surbiton. (Source: Google Earth/Screenshot)

The street-view images of the pub give us two reasons to conclude the video is from 2020. The last image with similar plants as in the video was published in September 2020. By March 2021, they were replaced with different ones. We can also see that the sign above the door was changed and looks different in the most recent photos. The one we can see behind the politician is of an older style.

A comparison of the street view images shows that the pub's sign and the decoration in the video look different now. Source (Google Maps/Screenshot/Markup by Logically Facts) 

The Prince of Wales pub in Surbiton is one of the Doolin Rock pubs. The photo published on their website in 2023 shows the building with different decorations and signage from those in the video.

The photo from 2023 on the Doolin Rock Company website shows the pub with a sign and decoration different from those in the video. (Source: Doolin Rock Pubs, screenshot)

The verdict

The video, published by a TikTok user and then used by The Telegraph in a post on X, is not recent. It was filmed before 2021, most likely during the earlier stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, considering the elbow bump and the mention of COVID-19 in the conversation. Therefore, we have marked the video as misleading.

Follow Logically Facts' coverage and fact-checking of the U.K. General Election here.

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