Outrage erupted yesterday after a man was photographed apparently urinating at a memorial dedicated to PC Keith Palmer, who was killed in the 2017 Westminster terrorist attack. This morning the Met Police said a 28-year-old man had been arrested in connection with the incident. In response to the report broadcaster Julia Harley-Brewer pointed out a distinction in the wording, which quickly sparked a fierce backlash on social media.
The Talk Radio breakfast host shared the Met’s press release and pointed out it was inaccurate to state the man had urinated on the memorial.
Instead, she said the photo appears to show the man urinating beside the statue.
But she makes clear carrying out such an act near the memorial is “awful” in her opinion.
Ms Hartley-Brewer wrote on Twitter: “He urinated BESIDE the plaque. He did not urinate ON it. This is basic stuff.”
After being heavily criticised for the Tweet, the journalist then clarified her position and affirmed that she was not defending the man pictured urinating.
She wrote: “FFS, people, stop pretending to be stupid.
“I’m not DEFENDING this a**hole for urinating beside the memorial.
“I’m telling the Met Police that they need to be accurate.
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Another user said: “I think people are just astonished that of ALL the aspects of what happened yesterday, the ONE hill you decide to die on is whether someone p****d directly on a memorial, or a few inches to the side of it.
“It speaks volumes. Basically.”
A third person said the distinction was “irrelevant”.
One user asked why Ms Hartley-Brewer had decided to make the distinction.
They wrote: “Why are you doing this? Genuinely.
“It’s such a pedantic and completely irrelevant point that it only makes it looks like you’re trying to defend the indefensible.”
In response, the broadcaster wrote: “I’m not defending anything. Facts aren’t pedantic. They’re facts.”