Diocese of London probes clergyman over 'unacceptable' Captain Tom Moore comments

Rev Jarel Robinson-Brown(Photo: Twitter)

A clergyman is being reviewed by the Diocese of London after he claimed the clap for Captain Sir Tom Moore reflected a "cult of White British Nationalism".

Captain Sir Tom passed away with Covid-19 at the age of 100 earlier this week. 

His death prompted a national outpouring of grief for the World War II veteran who was dubbed a national hero after raising over £32m for the NHS. 

When a nationwide clap was organised in honour of his achievements, Rev Jarel Robinson-Brown responded on Twitter by saying that he would "offer prayers for the repose of his kind and generous soul" but would not be joining the event because "the cult of Captain Tom is a cult of White British Nationalism."

He deleted the comments from Twitter after facing strong criticism and offered an "unreserved apology for the insensitive timing and content" of his tweet. 

He added that he had read and would sign the Church of England's digital charter launched in 2019 to make social media and the web "more widely positive places".

The Diocese of London said in a statement that his comments were "unacceptable, insensitive, and ill-judged", and that he would be facing an inquiry.

"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 said. 

"A review is now underway, 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."