Some readers may be aware of the curious case of Harry Leslie Smith, a 92 year old Labour-supporting war hero and author who is regularly published by the Mirror and the Guardian. Mr Smith’s name is attributed to a Twitter account which posts a large amount of bizarre, sometimes downright offensive material. Over the last few weeks, many Labour supporters and tweeters have questioned whether Mr Smith is responsible for the posts, or if his account is – rather distastefully – controlled by someone else using his name.
@Harryslaststand that's an astonishingly ignorant thing to tweet, whoever you are.
— Padraig Reidy (@mePadraigReidy) December 27, 2015
Who actually runs this account? https://t.co/815z8sTU0A
— James Bloodworth (@J_Bloodworth) December 24, 2015
— Chris Deerin (@chrisdeerin) January 31, 2016
Those who have met Mr Smith say it is impossible he controls the account.
Multiple sources in the Labour Party and elsewhere tell Guido that in fact several people have access. Sources with intimate knowledge of the account claim Mr Smith’s son is responsible for some of the tweets, as well as an agent and someone working with his publisher, Icon Books. Labour sources distance the party from the account, insisting it is nothing to do with them.
To try to get to the bottom of this rather odd tale, Guido contacted Icon Books to politely ask if anyone from the company had access to the account. Given the opportunity to deny this well-established rumour, Icon Books failed to get back to us. Instead, they rather strangely decided to leak Guido’s email online. It would be pretty grim if someone has been exploiting this 92 year-old war hero by tweeting under his name…