Fake Twitter accounts prompts angry exchanges between Tory MP and Labour candidate

The Northern Echo: TWITTER ROW: Accusations fly between Stockton South MP James Wharton and Labour candidate Louise Baldock. TWITTER ROW: Accusations fly between Stockton South MP James Wharton and Labour candidate Louise Baldock.

POSTS from a fake Twitter profile have prompted an angry exchange between a Tory MP and a Labour politician bidding to win his seat.

Labour Stockton South candidate Louise Baldock became embroiled in a row with a Twitter user claiming to be from Ingleby Manor Free School on Monday night.

The new account, @InglebyManor, said it was “disappointing” that the school did not have the backing of Ms Baldock.

In response, the parliamentary candidate said she had never discussed the school and went on to describe the comments as a “shocking unsolicited political attack”.

Other Twitter users got involved when it emerged Stockton South MP James Wharton had welcomed the school to the social networking site.

The MP later tweeted that Ms Baldock should be taken off the site for having “another embarrassing late night row, this time with a school”.

It emerged that the school account was fake. It has since been removed.

The Northern Echo contacted Ms Baldock who said that while she did not believe the MP set up the account, by commenting on the row Mr Wharton was engaging in a “unpleasant and personal campaign” against her.

“I don't think it was a Tory stunt although they certainly tried to make hay with it," Ms Baldock said.

“I'm disappointed that this seems to be the tenor of Mr Wharton's campaign." 

Ms Baldock said the school had her full backing, adding: “I live in Ingleby and I know it needs a school.”

In response, Mr Wharton said he was not interested in “silly arguments on Twitter pursued by a naive and bullying Labour candidate”.

He added: “I was contacted publicly by the account that looked like it was from the new school we are delivering for Ingleby Barwick.

“There was then a row between that account any my Labour opponent who appeared to threaten them with negative coverage in the Guardian and screen shots being recorded.

“I don't think she showed good judgement in threatening them but my focus was and remains to support a great new school for Ingleby Barwick.”

Comments (3)

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9:57am Wed 9 Apr 14

Ingleby Barwick Resident says...

It's astounding that James Wharton raises questions of "judgement" after he welcomed the fake free school account after it's third tweet, all of which were clearly political and all sent late in the evening. Interestingly, one of Mr Wharton's paid staff was also a follower of the fake account and, along with other local young Tories, assiduously "favourited" and "re-tweeted" it's comments. Little wonder the school was so keen to distance itself from such blatant politicisation that it went to the extent of involving the police. Perhaps your story ought to be more balanced?
It's astounding that James Wharton raises questions of "judgement" after he welcomed the fake free school account after it's third tweet, all of which were clearly political and all sent late in the evening. Interestingly, one of Mr Wharton's paid staff was also a follower of the fake account and, along with other local young Tories, assiduously "favourited" and "re-tweeted" it's comments. Little wonder the school was so keen to distance itself from such blatant politicisation that it went to the extent of involving the police. Perhaps your story ought to be more balanced? Ingleby Barwick Resident
  • Score: 7

1:10pm Wed 9 Apr 14

behonest says...

Does Louise Baldock support this school or not? "In response, the parliamentary candidate said she had never discussed the school." She lives in Ingleby and yet admits to never having discussed this school? At least James Wharton is consistent in that he does support it.

Also, is there any truth that Ms Baldock 'appeared to threaten them with negative coverage in the Guardian and screen shots being recorded.'?
Does Louise Baldock support this school or not? "In response, the parliamentary candidate said she had never discussed the school." She lives in Ingleby and yet admits to never having discussed this school? At least James Wharton is consistent in that he does support it. Also, is there any truth that Ms Baldock 'appeared to threaten them with negative coverage in the Guardian and screen shots being recorded.'? behonest
  • Score: 0

3:36pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Ingleby Barwick Resident says...

The point is that the operator of the fake account had NEVER asked for a comment from Louise before launching their political attack. I understand that Louise does support the provision of more secondary school places in Ingleby Barwick, but that wouldn't have suited the clearly political purpose of the fake account.

Of course anyone would defend themselves in the circumstances, and it is notable that the fake, some might say fraudulent, account has now been deleted completely. Speaks volumes.
The point is that the operator of the fake account had NEVER asked for a comment from Louise before launching their political attack. I understand that Louise does support the provision of more secondary school places in Ingleby Barwick, but that wouldn't have suited the clearly political purpose of the fake account. Of course anyone would defend themselves in the circumstances, and it is notable that the fake, some might say fraudulent, account has now been deleted completely. Speaks volumes. Ingleby Barwick Resident
  • Score: 0

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