Reverend Jarel Robinson-Brown: what did the cleric say about Captain Tom Moore’s clap - and what was his apology?

The cleric called the applause a ‘cult of white British nationalism’

Friday, 5th February 2021, 1:11 pm

A Church of England clergyman has apologised for calling the clap organised for Captain Sir Tom Moore a “cult of white British nationalism”.

Reverend Jarel Robinson-Brown’s comments have been described as “unacceptable, insensitive and ill-judged”, and he has since apologised.

People across the country took part in a national applause on Wednesday 3 February to commemorate Captain Tom’s life and fundraising achievements, after he died aged 100 with Covid-19.

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Captain Sir Tom Moore died aged 100 with Covid-19 (Getty Images)

Here’s everything you need to know about what Reverend Jarel Robinson-Brown said.

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What did Reverend Jarel Robinson-Brown say?

Reverend Jarel Robinson-Brown caused outrage when he said he would not take part in the nationwide clap for Captain Sir Tom Moore.

People across the country took part in a national applause on Wednesday 3 February to commemorate Captain Tom (Getty Images)

In a now-deleted tweet, Robinson-Brown wrote: "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'."

The London-based Reverend’s post caused fierce backlash on the social media platform.

The Diocese of London issued a statement about the tweet, saying Robinson-Brown had caused “hurt” to Captain Tom’s family.

Reverend Jarel Robinson-Brown (Twitter)

It said: "Jarel Robinson-Brown's comments regarding Captain Sir Tom Moore were unacceptable, insensitive, and ill-judged.

"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."

It confirmed an investigation into the comments was underway, adding: "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."

What was the cleric’s apology?

Rev Robinson-Brown subsequently deleted the tweet after it caused backlash.

The cleric issued a public apology, writing: “I offer an unreserved apology for the insensitive timing and content of my tweet regarding the clap for Captain Tom.”

He said he had read and would sign the Church of England's Digital Charter - a voluntary pledge that the clergy should follow in order to "help make social media and the web more widely positive places for conversations to happen".

Why was there a clap for Captain Tom?

Thousands of people across the country took part in the clap for Captain Tom on Wednesday night.

The applause was planned to celebrate the World War II veteran’s life and fundraising achievements.

Captain Tom raised over £30million for the NHS during the first coronavirus lockdown by walking 1,000 laps around his garden.

He died in hospital surrounded by his family on Tuesday 2 February after contracting pneumonia and Covid-19, and tributes have since come pouring in for the NHS fundraising hero.

Boris Johnson called for the clap, and the prime minister commemorated Captain Tom on the steps of No 10 alongside his fiance Carrie Symonds.

Members of the public stood on their doorsteps and balconies and leaned out of windows to show their appreciation.

Captain Tom’s family, including his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore, led the clap outside their home in the Bedfordshire village of Marston Moretaine.

The centenarian had lived there with Hannah, her husband and her two children.

His family said they were "incredibly touched" by the nationwide gesture.

NHS staff involved in caring for Captain Tom in hospital also joined in the clap.