Posting on Twitter this week, business secretary Shapps shared an image showing him and two officials in front of a Virgin rocket at the spaceport in Newquay, Cornwall.
However, eagle-eyed Twitter users noticed that the former prime minister had featured in the original photo, which was taken in June 2021, but appeared to have been photoshopped out of the image.
Shapps has since deleted the tweet, with a source telling The Guardian that he hadn’t been aware the image had been edited when he posted it.
“Obviously he wouldn’t endorse anyone rewriting history by removing the former PM from a picture,” they said, adding that Shapps was “proud to serve in Boris’s government”.
The two images were shown one after another on Wednesday’s episode (11 January) of This Morning, leaving Willoughby, Schofield and guests Matthew Wright and Nick Ferrari in fits of laughter.
“He’s done a really good job!” Willoughby said. “There’s Kardashians who can’t do that!”
Ferrari humorously joked: “He’s been photo-Shapped!” while Schofield questioned why the MP would do “such an obvious thing”.
Ferrari said: “I think a lot of Conservatives are wondering if Rishi Sunak is the one to lead them to electoral success,” suggesting that many still considered Boris Johnson to be “the big dog”.
However, Wright claimed that in the culture of “fake news”, the picture “undermined” a narrative that the Tories were truthful if “you care so little about the truth” they’d doctor photos.
Shapps served as transport secretary under Johnson, who resigned from office in the summer of last year.