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Labour MP's gunfire tweet sparks Brighton police response
Police were called to search a city car park – after a top MP mistook a noise believed to be a car backfiring for gunshots.
Sussex police officers raced to the Brighton Marina car park at 9pm on Sunday after shadow health minister Jamie Reed sent a tweet which said: “Gunshots in the underground car park at Brighton Marina. Not a gag.”
After people questioned whether it was actually a gun, Mr Reed replied: “To my ears, absolutely. Could I be completely wrong?
“Of course. Didn’t sound like a car.”
He confirmed to The Argus he did not dial 999, but did believe there were gunshots being fired.
He later accepted these noises could have been fireworks or a car backfiring.
But other people who saw his tweet – he has nearly 13,000 followers – did and Sussex Police were called.
Yesterday both Brighton Marina and the police confirmed they attended the car park following reports of gunfire which stemmed from his message.
A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: “Police investigated a report of what sounded to be shots being fired at the Brighton Marina car park.
This followed a tweet stating this just before 9pm on September 22.
“Officers searched the area and nothing untoward was found. It is possible it was a car backfiring or there is another innocent explanation.
“It was a normal police response after police receive a call from a member of the public in the car park reporting loud bangs.
“She was advised it was probably a car backfiring and officers attended and searched the area.
“Nothing untoward was found.”
A Brighton Marina spokeswoman said: “Following a police enquiry regarding an alleged tweet and alleged incident neither were found to be substantiated.”
A Labour Party source said: “It was not a joke. He did not mean to cause alarm and he was sorry if anybody was upset.”
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