Paralympic athlete Jonnie Peacock is among several public figures who asked to be removed from the promotional video released by Tory MP Penny Mordaunt as she launched her leadership bid.
On Sunday morning, Mordaunt, MP for Portsmouth North, posted the video to her Twitter account with the caption “Our leadership needs to change. He needs to become a little less leader-centric and a lot more ship-centric.
Peacock, 29, appeared in the original video crossing the finish line of a race in slow motion, with the voiceover uttering the words: “We need to focus on who we are.” The clip also featured a photo of South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius, who was later convicted of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
Peacock, an English sprint runner who won gold at the 2012 and 2016 Summer Paralympics, responded to the video on Twitter saying: “Officially requesting to be removed from this video…everything but blue please.”
As of this writing, Peacock’s comment had received 12,800 likes — more than double the number received by Mordaunt’s tweet announcing his entry into the leadership race.
TV presenter Sue Perkins was among those who tweeted in response to the athlete, saying: “I can’t believe you weren’t even asked for your consent. Ah wait…”
Later Sunday afternoon, an edited version was tweeted from Mordaunt’s account, with users quick to highlight the changes.
Journalist Hugo Gye said: “Mordaunt appears to have released a new version of its launch video, which no longer features @JonniePeacock (who complained about being included) or convicted killer Oscar Pistorius.”
“Is this a new sans @JonniePeacock who asked you to take it off? said another user.
There were other changes, including video of an interview with Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, the UK co-developer of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, which was replaced with more generic footage of staff from health.
Mordaunt’s announcement continued to draw attention on social media throughout Sunday, with many comparing the video to an excerpt from the BBC satire The Day Todaywhich uses the same background music.
She is one of nine candidates who have so far declared their candidacy for the leadership role following the resignation of Boris Johnson.