Dutch elections 2017
Geert Wilders
Alexander Pechtold leader of the liberal party D66 (L) and Geert Wilders of Freedom Party PVV (R)

With elections scheduled for 15 March, Dutch MPs reacted furiously to a fake photo shared by far-right politician Geert Wilders showing the leader of the liberal party (D66) Alexander Pechtold taking part in a pro-Hamas demonstration, surrounded by people holding Shariah for The Netherlands banners.

The populist leader of the Freedom Party (PVV) tweeted the photoshopped image with the caption: "D66 wants to separate Amsterdam [from rest of country] if election result is disappointing. Pechtold demonstrates with Hamas terrorists. Is this the next step?"

Alexander Pechtold wrote on Twitter: "Creative copy and pasting from Geert Wilders. Unfortunately the neo-nazis at his demonstration weren't photoshopped."

On Facebook he said: "A lot of the time I can laugh about people being creative with pictures on the internet. But not this time. Not because I can't take it, but because it gives people the wrong ideas. That is clear from my Twitter timeline. This is how Wilders stirs up his supporters."

Wilders commented: "Stop complaining dramaqueen. You were the one demonstrating in the middle of Palestinian flags, AFA-activists and your Hamas friends. Hypocrite."

Jesse Klaver, leader of the Green party (Groenlinks) described Wilders' message on Twitter as "irresponsible and low. He commented: "The person who shares fake news about others, throws away his own credibility."

Dutch journalist Pieter Munnik shared the original image on Twitter, showing a protester in place of Pechtold. The image was taken in London in 2009 at a protest against Wilders' visit to the UK.

Lodewijk Asscher, the leader of the Labour Party (PVDA), urged Wilders to delete his account, taking a leaf out of Hillary Clinton's campaign manual.