Boris Johnson: No talent required, which is just as well for a man with no talent [Image: Matt Crossick].

A group of influential MPs is to investigate the phenomenon of ‘fake news’, according to mainstream media outlets like The Guardian, following concerns that knowingly false articles posing as journalism could become a threat to democracy.

It occurs to This Writer that Boris Johnson’s claim to have secured a clarification from the US State Department, that the only people affected by Donald Trump’s ‘travel ban’ will be dual citizens of the UK and a listed country going directly to the US from the listed country, qualifies as one such ‘fake news’ item.

It isn’t true – Mr Johnson did no negotiating and won no concession, even though that’s how it might seem to people reading, say, the Evening Standard‘s report and then one in the Independent.

The Huffington Post article (quoted below) states that the Foreign Office agreed not to spin the clarification as an “exemption” after Mr Johnson spoke to senior Trump advisor Jared Kushner.

Mr Trudeau, meanwhile, had secured his own clarification 15 hours earlier, because of a delay in contacting the White House after Mrs May landed in Heathrow on Saturday. Was she dithering?

So any impression that the “clarification” had anything to do with diplomacy of any kind on Mr Johnson’s part would be wrong. But people believing this might be led to believe that a Conservative government can achieve better results than another government, and that would be wrong.

Remember, the Foreign Office only agreed not to put its favourable spin on the story after talking to the US representative, indicating that he put a stop to it.

So it seems the MPs investigating ‘fake news’ could do very well by starting with Mr Johnson.

After that, they might have a stab at anything put out by the Department for Work and Pensions.

On Sunday evening, the Foreign Office announced British dual nationals are exempt from the US President’s ban on travel to the US unless they’re travelling from one of the seven predominantly Muslim countries he has outlawed.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won the same “clarification” as British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Donald Trump’s travel ban – just 15 hours before the UK announced it and without requiring a “special relationship”.

Trudeau had actually got his clarification about 15 hours before the Brits announced it, partly because of the time difference but also because No. 10 had failed to get to the White House after May landed in Heathrow on Saturday night.

Source: No, Boris Johnson didn’t win UK ‘exemption’ from Donald Trump’s travel ban

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