Fact Check-Tweet about UK Home Office repatriating British twins who left home to fight in Ukraine stems from satire account

A satirical tweet about the UK Home Office trying to repatriate 15-year-old British twins, who left the country to fight in Ukraine, is being taken seriously by people online. The post also includes an image from at least six years ago which has been digitally altered.

The Feb. 26, 2023, tweet (here), which uses a photo of two women in military uniform, says the Home Office wants to return “Hayleigh and Lotti Whiteman” to “their home in Swindon” and that a petition to bring them home “has been signed by over 400k people”.

One Facebook user uploaded a screenshot of the tweet alongside the caption: “If only Shamima Begum had been a white Nazi...” (here) in reference to the British-born woman who lost her citizenship when she went to Syria as a schoolgirl to join the Islamic State militant group (here).

Comments on the Facebook post suggest other people have taken it seriously, with one user replying: “Disgusting! Bring home Shamima,” while another added: “Good God Unbelievable racism.”

Similar versions can be seen here and here.

However, the tweet stems from an account which appears to produce satirical content.

A threaded tweet (here) replying to the original (here) states that British Home Secretary Suella Braverman told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on her Sunday programme that she has “tasked the survivalist Bear Grylls with extracting the vulnerable young Britons from the war zone”. However, Braverman did not appear on the Feb. 26 instalment of the Sunday morning talk show (here).

‘News’ articles on the account’s website, which was described as a satire website by Indy100 (here), also appear satirical in nature (

Meanwhile, the tweet includes an image which has been digitally altered. The earliest version of the original found by Reuters was posted online on Jan. 1, 2017 ( It shows two women with different faces but in the exact same position, with the same background, as the altered version.

The Home Office was not immediately available for comment.


Satire. The tweet originates from an account which routinely posts clear satirical content.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.