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Clergyman sorry for saying clap for Capt Tom was 'cult of white British nationalism'
4 February 2021, 07:04 | Updated: 4 February 2021, 11:42
A Church of England clergyman has issued an apology after tweeting that the national clap for Captain Sir Tom Moore was an example of the "cult of white British nationalism."
The Reverend Jarel Robinson-Brown also said he would not take part in last night's clapping effort for the national hero, who raised nearly £33m and was praised by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
He Tweeted: "The cult of Captain Tom is a cult of White British Nationalism. I will offer prayers for the repose of his kind and generous soul, but I will not be joining the “National Clap”.
After sparking a major backlash, Robinson-Brown deleted the tweet and posted an apology, saying: "I offer an unreserved apology for the insensitive timing and content of my tweet regarding the clap for Captain Tom.
He followed it up writing: "I’ve now read and will sign the Church of England's Digital Charter."
The digital charter is a document aimed at "helping to make social media and the web more widely positive places."
The Diocese of London issued a statement saying they would be reviewing the "unacceptable" comments.
“Jarel Robinson-Brown’s comments regarding Captain Sir Tom Moore were unacceptable, insensitive and ill-judged," the statement said.
“The fact that he immediately removed his tweet and subsequently apologised does not undo the hurt he has caused, not least to Captain Tom’s family.
“Nor do Jarel’s actions justify the racist abuse he is now receiving.
“A review is under way, led by the Archdeacon of London. As a Church we expect clergy to ensure that all online activity is in line with the Church of England’s social media guidelines and built on truth, kindness and sensitivity to others.
“It is incumbent upon all of us to make social media and the web more widely positive places for conversations to happen.”
Last night, the UK paid tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore with a national clap, led by Boris Johnson outside 10 Downing Street.
I offer an unreserved apology for the insensitive timing and content of my tweet regarding the clap for Captain Tom.— Jarel Robinson-Brown || Black Prophetic Fire 🔥 (@JarelRB) February 3, 2021
I’ve now read and will sign the Church of England's Digital Charter: https://t.co/mzJBRf4hPo
People across the country took part in the tribute to the veteran at 6pm on Wednesday, following his death at the age of 100.
Mr Johnson stood on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street with his fiancee Carrie Symonds, having earlier urged the public to join in the clap "to show our appreciation for him and all that he stood for and believed in".
Sir Tom's family said they were "incredibly touched" by the gesture and took part outside their home in the village of Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also joined the clap to commemorate the veteran's life after he died on Tuesday.