LONDON (Reuters) - A defiant message purportedly scrawled on a board at an underground railway station condemning a deadly attack in London was read out in Britain’s parliament and widely shared on social media before being revealed as a computer-generated fake.
The message: “All terrorists are politely reminded that this is London and whatever you do to us we will drink tea and jolly well carry on thank you” seemed to sum up the unflustered mood Britons are known for after Wednesday’s deadly attack near the British parliament that left four people dead.
A picture of the white board, where transport workers usually write travel updates or motiviating messages for commuters, was shared widely by Londoners and journalists alike on Twitter on Thursday, many commending its tone.
Lawmaker Simon Hoare read out the message in parliament and said it spoke “for the whole country”, after which Prime Minister Theresa May described it as “a wonderful, wonderful tribute and in a very simple way has encapsulated everything everybody in this House has said today.”
But the message with Wednesday’s date and 14:45 timestamp - soon after police were called to the Westminster area where an assailant drove a car into passersby on a bridge before crashing through the gate of the nearby parliament building and fatally stabbing a policeman - drew suspicions.
A spokesman for Transport for London confirmed the sign was not one of many other positive messages workers scribbled on Underground boards.
Despite not being a real underground board, the message still rang true for many.
“For the avoidance of any doubt, this is a computer generated sign but nevertheless a sentiment shared by millions,” Sky News presenter Kay Burley wrote on Twitter.
Reporting By Marie-Louise Gumuchian