Feeds

'Fake' emails MP hits reply

Right stink over Writetothem.com

Security for virtualized datacentres

The Conservative MP caught rigging his popularity rating by sending emails to himself was told to do so by the website that shopped him, the MP's spokesman has claimed.

Bridgwater MP Ian Liddell-Grainger sent emails to himself through Writetothem.com, a website that helps people get in touch with their MPs, in order to change his rating on the site.

But Liddell-Grainger's spokesman said Tom Steinberg, then of www.faxyourmp.com (the site's precursor), told the MP on the telephone that he should send messages to himself through the site if he wanted to improve his popularity rating.

"Steinberg said, 'if you want to change your rating, just fax yourself'," the spokesman said.

"It's a publicity stunt [by Writetothem.com]," he added.

Yet Liddell-Grainger gave the BBC a different story. He told the BBC he had been trying to expose how the ratings could be skewed by just a handful of messages.

However, Tom Steinberg, denied he had suggested the MP fake his rating. He also denied that such a scheme would have worked because the ratings* were not calculated on the fly.

Steinberg has posted an email he says he received from the MP at the end of 2004 where he complained that a rival was exploiting his low rating and said: "If it takes me to help myself, I am sure you understand why."

Liddell-Grainger can normally be found scrutinising the conduct of government in his place on the Public Administration Committee.®

* The rating is based on the number of replies MPs send to messages they receive through the service. Liddell-Grainger said in his email to Tom Steinberg that he had replied to all the messages he had received through the service.

Between 2002 and 2004, the site's users recorded 57 replies to messages they had sent to Liddell-Grainger, while 62 said they had received no reply.

The MP's spokesman said Liddell-Grainger got 199 messages through FaxyourMP.com between 2002 and 2004. But he receives 700 to 800 a week through official channels.

Excluding cut-and-paste copies, Writetothem.com carried 42,000 messages between citizens and MPs last year.

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.