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Smear site leads back to Commons

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The website supposedly set up to smear the Tory Party in the run-up to a general election was registered to a House of Commons address.

A cunning someone used the name Olly Cromwell and opted to keep their address private. But The Times reckons a Commons contact address was used when theredrag.co.uk was registered last November. The site currently hosts a holding page from WordPress.

A Nominet Whois search reveals Mr Cromwell is the named registrant and that the address, as a non-trading individual, has been kept private. The site was bought via agency Easily.co.uk.

The only Cromwell currently resident at the Commons is a large bronze statue of the erstwhile Lord Protector, thought perhaps this lump of tin is about as active and tech aware as the average Labour MP.

Several individuals have already denied any involvement - including blogging minister Tom Watson, who was rumoured to be CC'd in the emails between Derek Draper and Damian McBride. The storm might also have gained a few clicks for Draper's failing PravdaBlog LabourList but for now the name, and address, of the actual registrant remain a mystery.

But what we really want to know is how did the emails get out in the first place? Cunning cyber-espionage or just another idiot sending messages to the wrong recipient? How did Guido Fawkes get the mails?

Only a true cynic would suggest that all that has been achieved is far wider reporting of some ludicrous rumours and the resignation of a smear-doctor for smearing. ®

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