BELLE MONT, our Sutton correspondent, on an embarrassing gaffe from the local MP
Tory councillors in Sutton were today gleefully claiming that Tom Brake, the Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington, had “outed himself” as the user of bogus, LibDem-supporting Twitter accounts.
Brake has been MP for 20 years and held ministerial office during the coalition government, but from his own Twitter account today he announced that he had just joined the party.
The LibDems’ political opponents have long been critical of some of their more questionable campaigning techniques, such as the exaggerated bar charts used in their election leaflets. There have also been accusations of the use of fake social media accounts, to give the impression of wider support than is in fact the case, and for trolling political opponents.
Brake’s “I’ve just joined” tweet, coming at the start of the local election campaign in which the LibDems are under pressure to retain control of their one-party state in Sutton, was seized upon by Neil Garratt, a Tory councillor, as proof that the MP has been running bogus Twitter accounts.
“Exposed!” Garratt, Sutton Tories’ deputy leader, announced.
“Brake meant to tweet this from a fake ‘local resident’ account which he controls, but accidentally sent it from his own account.
“MP for 20 years but he’s ‘just joined’! He’s accidentally exposed himself hasn’t he?”
Incinerator advocate Brake has since deleted his “just joined” tweet.
Inside Croydon asked him – via Twitter, natch – if he could explain his earlier tweet. We wrote, “Have you really just joined the LibDems? Or do you in fact operate fake Twitter accounts?”
Brake had not responded by the time of publication.
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