Matthew Collins - 30 05 12

Hands up who uses Twitter?

For those that don’t know, Twitter is the hugely popular social network where you can communicate with the world using no more than 140 characters.

That doesn’t sound a great deal, and it can be a challenge trying to get across your message without running out of space.

One fan of Twitter is the BNP chairman Nick Griffin.

Griffin has huge problems using Twitter. He also has huge problems telling the truth. The two combined regularly catch him out.

Just today, Griffin posted the following message on his Twitter account: “Romanian at Tesco suppliers Vion Broxbourne plant in hospital with TB. All workers having jabs today.”

Now I like to deal with facts so I thought I’d give Vion a ring and try to establish what was the truth.

I spoke to Robert Smith, Group Communications Controller for Vion UK and he confirmed that most of Griffin’s message was incorrect.

So let’s look at the facts:

Griffin claimed that the victim was a Romanian.He wasn’t, he is actually Polish and has already returned to his native Poland.

Griffin claimed that the location of the plant was Broxbourne, which is in Hertfordshire. Wrong again, the plant is located in Broxburn, close to Edinburgh in Scotland.

Griffin claimed the Vion plant supplies Tesco. Whilst it is true that Vion supply meat products to most of the UK’s supermarkets, the Broxburn plant does not deal with Tesco.

Griffin claimed that the victim is in hospital with TB. Vion confirmed that the Pole was thought to be suffering from TB and it was believed he was in hospital in Poland, only discovering his illness on his return to Poland.

Griffin claimed that all Vion workers at the plant were to receive anti-TB jabs today. Vion’s Robert Smith said this was “complete nonsense”. Vion was closely working with the authorities to establish who had been in contact with the Pole. Once this was ascertained, screening would be offered to those potentially at risk. However, this was non compulsory.

Vion is a large employer with up to 14,000 staff in the UK. Robert Smith and Vion were understandably annoyed with Griffin’s irresponsible posting and immediately wrote to Griffin, informing him of his numerous errors. Smith invited the North West MEP to contact Vion so that the correct version of events could be relayed to him.

It’s unlikely that Griffin will take up their offer.


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