Skip to content

Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

That photo of Matt Hancock holding a bad pint of Guinness is fake

He wasn’t even drinking Guinness.
May 1st 2021, 3:21 PM 100,285 31


A PHOTO OF the British Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock has been doctored to make it appear as if he was holding a bad pint of Guinness.

Yesterday, the Health Secretary had a pint with the incumbent Tory mayor of Tees Valley in north-east England Ben Houchen, ahead of a mayoral election on 6 May.

Last night, a number of social media posts shared the image of the health secretary holding a bad pint of Guinness: some joked that the pint represented a breach of the Good Friday Agreement; and that Irish people have served and would continue to serve Matt Hancock badly-poured pints.


It’s likely the image was originally doctored as a joke, and became so widely shared that some people may not have examined it too closely and thought the image was real.

Here is the original image, shared by the health secretary on Twitter last night:

E0PpW_yWEAIofLu Source: Twitter

If you examine the doctored photo more closely, you can see that the pint glass is too big and the proportions are slightly off.

There is also a significantly blurry outline all around the edge of the pint glass.

Making a difference

A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article.

Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can make sure we can keep reliable, meaningful news open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.


Though it may be obvious to some that the image was doctored, or meant as a joke, some may have seen the many social media posts of the photo in passing and not realised the inclusion of the bad pint of Guinness was fake. 

Images have been doctored before as part of a joke, but end up being widely shared and believed: in December 2019, an image of DUP leader Arlene Foster was doctored to appear as if she was holding an Irish passport when attending a polling station to vote in the UK general election. 

Have you gotten a message on WhatsApp or Facebook or Twitter that you’re not sure about and want us to check it out? Message or mail us and we’ll look into debunking it. WhatsApp: 085 221 4696 or Email:

Send a tip to the author

Gráinne Ní Aodha


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a comment

    cancel reply
    Back to top