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Labour cry foul over Boris appropriation of official London mayoral Twitter account


By John Glenday | Reporter

March 21, 2012 | 2 min read

Labour has registered a formal complaint after Boris Johnson appropriated London’s official mayoral Twitter account under his own name.

The ‘swap’ means that the account now directs tweeters to the Back Boris 2012 website instead of the City Hall homepage, sparking accusations of electoral bias.

The move also adds the accounts 253,000 followers to Boris’s personal account and comes as campaigning gets underway for the May 3 election.

Johnson kicked off the amalgamated account with a tweet: “Day 1 of official election period! No City Hall resources in use, so all Tweets until 3 May are from my phone or @BackBoris2012 team."

Labour party assembly member Len Duvall has written to the Greater London Standards Authority to complain. He writes: “"My understanding is that this Twitter account was established by the Authority and belongs to the Office of the Mayor of London, and has been maintained since its inception by GLA resources."

"As such, this account does not belong to the current Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. Can you quickly establish the facts and intervene on this abuse and misuse of resources in undertaking this transfer.”

A spokeswoman for the electoral commission said there are no specific rules pertaining to the rebranding of Twitter accounts for personal use – so long as money spent on the account here on is published in Johnson’s campaign expenses.


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