Only Time Will Tell: Did Boris Johnson Really Mark 11am Silence At 11.14?

Twitter users were unimpressed when the prime minister posted a photograph of himself marking Monday’s 11am silence when his watch clearly said it was 11.14am – but just how accurate were these criticisms?

Boris Johnson released the images as a tribute to the five victims of last week’s devastating Plymouth shooting on Monday.

One Twitter user commented: “They cared enough to turn back the clock on the mantelpiece but forgot his wrist watch.”

Another account criticised the claim that the prime minister was honouring the 11am silence, and compared the two different times on the mantlepiece clock and on Johnson’s watch. They asked in their caption: “You sure about that?” 

Others questioned why it took so long for the photograph to be uploaded to social media as it appeared online at 12.37pm.

One account noted: “Took one hour and 36 minutes to write this tweet and upload this photo? Or maybe, given the different times on the clock and watch, it was a belated, hastily assembled piece of gesture politics?”

Another account dubbed the photograph as “embarrassing”.

Journalist Chris Stokel-Walker also weighed in on the debate, and tweeted: “Absolutely incredible scenes as Boris Johnson’s watch gives away that this wasn’t actually taken at 11am, despite the clock in the background.”

However, he later tweeted in defence of the photograph after reportedly hearing more about the photograph’s origins.

He deleted his original tweet, and added: “For transparency: deleting the screenshotted tweet below before it gets picked up by conspiracists after being told the EXIF data shows the watch is wrong, the clock is right.”

The EXIF data means the Exchangeable Image File Format and refers to the accurate data about the image’s origins stored in the camera when a photograph is taken.

A Downing Street official also claimed that it was actually the watch which was running 14 minutes fast, and that the image was taken at 11am.

Johnson also acknowledged the horrendous incident last week, tweeting: “My thoughts are with the friends and family of those who lost their lives and with all those affected by the tragic incident in Plymouth last night. I thank the emergency services for their response.”

The prime minister was not the only one to honour the horrifying shooting in Plymouth, which was the worst seen in the UK for a decade.

Approximately 200 people gathered outside Plymouth city centre at 11am on Monday to mourn the lives lost.

Jake Davison, a 22-year-old, shot his mother Maxine Davison, 51, dead in Biddick Drive, before shooting 3-year-old Sophie Martyn, and her father 43-year-old Lee Martyn on the street.

Davison went on to kill Stephen Washington, 59, and 66-year-old Kate Shepherd.

Davison was a licensed firearms holder, raising serious questions about the government’s current gun laws and prompting widespread calls for change.

The government has confirmed that it is preparing statutory guidance to help promote high standards of decision-making within gun licensing applications.

The Home Office wants future gun applications to cover the social media of individuals too.

Davison’s YouTube channel and Facebook account showed he referred to himself as the “terminator” and held misogynistic views.

All police forces in England and Wales have been advised to review their current processes and assess existing licences.

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