Just before he changed his plea to guilty, Chris Huhne suspended his official Twitter account. With perfect timing that very same account, @ChrisHuhne, is now tweeting again:
With over a thousand re-tweets @ChrisHuhne is reaching more people than ever before.
An insight into life inside HMP Wandsworth…
Both Labour and the Tories have previously denied coordinating their MPs and activists use of Twitter and other forms of social media. Guido has long suspected they were bluffing; not least because Peter Hain doesn’t even bother to change the ‘Line to Take’ tweets before putting them out, and many Tories have been caught out sending mysteriously similar and very on message tweets before. Now Guido has seen an email sent via the Government Whips to Tory MPs from the Digital Team at CCHQ that lets the cat out of the bag.
The email, sent less than an hour ago, coughs:
“At CCHQ we run an internal email list to notify people when tweets have gone out from @david_cameron or if anything high priority has gone out from @conservatives, so that they are aware of our comms and can retweet to share with their followers if they wish. Please let us know if you would like to be added to this list and what email address you would like these notifications to be sent to.”
Further to that, CCHQ are still trying to get the basics across to their less technologically able MPs with Twitter training from the company itself. It also looks like their more unruly and outspoken members are being brought in for a sinister sounding session on “compliance”:
“Twitter will be running two training sessions for MPs in the next couple of months (dates tbc) at the House of Commons as part of the series we are holding commencing with one on Compliance next Monday. There will be two different sessions, designed for different levels of experience – ‘beginner setup’ and ‘improving existing accounts’. More details will follow, however please do let us know if you’d like to register an interest in one of these sessions.”
They are coming for you Mike Fabricant!
UPDATE: Phew! Fabricant says far from being silenced he is in fact organising the sessions:
This is very funny especially the tag line at end! 'Cos I am organising both sessions!! (Compliance is legal stuff). order-order.com/2013/03/07/tor…—
Michael Fabricant (@Mike_Fabricant) March 07, 2013
He didn’t deny the coordination of MPs tweets though…
Not many supported Chris Huhne on Twitter, here is what that well known progressive tweeter Sunny Hundal had to say, from his mum’s spare bedroom in Hillingdon, during the period that we pushed the Huhne story before the police investigation bore fruit:
Despite Sunny’s support he’s down now.
The story that Huhne-dal thought wasn’t “going anywhere”, is everywhere…
Times journalist Sarah Vine is married to Michael Gove, she clearly gets irritated by the Observer hack who she thinks carries water for Ed Miliband’s chief-of-spin, Tom Baldwin:
Labour now say Mrs Gove is an attack dog:
Huge handbags on Twitter this week between the Observer’s Toby Helm and the CCHQ @ToryEducation Twitter account. The Tory tweeter told Helm “You’re like Baldwin and Campbell – an activist, not a professional hack”, provoking paroxysms of rage from the Labour Party press office’s favourite broadsheet channel. Particularly after they called Helm a Labour stooge. This will apparently spill over into the paper this weekend when The Observer is going to allege that it is part of a scandalous McBride/Draper style dirty tricks operation. Guido understands that Helm reckons it could bring down Michael Gove…
Judge the robust exchange for yourself:
It is unclear to Guido whether or not the account is run officially or unofficially from CCHQ or by Gove’s SpAds, or what the exact rules about this would be. As is so often the way with Twitter, exchanges are strongly worded. SpAds are supposed to operate within civil service limitations. A strongly worded written letter of admonishment to a SpAd from the permanent secretary may result. Not exactly enough to bring down the Secretary of State…
UPDATE: Looks like Toby has been down the bookies:
Rush of money for Michael Gove to be next Cabinet Minister out. Odds cut from 25/1 to 8/1.—
Ladbrokes Politics (@LadPolitics) February 02, 2013
It all kicked off over the weekend as poor old Mehdi Hasan waded into the great abortion debate. Having the gall to out himself as a pro-lifer meant, for the first time ever, he was soon experiencing the full wrath of the twitter left.
Things got pretty heated between Mehdi and some prominent lefties:
Guido isn’t quite sure how calling Knowles a “pompous twerp” squares with Mehdi’s no ad hominem attacks policy…
Yesterday evening crowd-sourced EyeSpy.MP spotted the Education Secretary in a bookshop with his daughter. Deborah Orr showed what a class act she is with this tweet (since deleted):
Is Deborah Orr yet another Guardian leftie who, a la Toynbee, pays to send a child to private school?
Game, set and match to Tiger Mother Vine…
Even the BBC Accepts the Licence Fee Must Go | ConHome
More to Women Than Boosting GDP | Ruth Lea
ThinkProgress Controlled: “I Was an Obamabot” | Zaid Jilani
Free People Don’t Care About Politics | Fraser Nelson
Like Guido’s Facebook Page | Facebook
International Moaning Day | Kathy Gyngell
Cameron Alienating Core Voters Without Attracting New | City AM
Andy Burnham Villain of the Week | Sun
London’s Laundry Business | NY Times
The End of HS2? | Seb Payne
Elvis Speaks | Nottingham Post
Alan Rusbridger opines…
“One thing that Snowden has taught us journalists is that it’s essential to be paranoid.”