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Speaker Bercow's loquacious wife finally silenced - On Twitter

Legal issues. Hacked. DELETED - not before time, perhaps

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Sally Bercow was silenced on Twitter overnight, following a series of silly tweets that have landed the outspoken speaker's wife in legal hot water.

However, it wasn't the threat of libel action from Lord McAlpine's lawyers that apparently shut her micro-blogging gob - instead her account was reportedly hacked into, before it mysteriously disappeared from the site.

Bercow was among the thousands of people who tweeted McAlpine's name - leading to accusations by the peer's legal team that she had wrongly linked him to false allegations of child abuse.

On Sunday night, a post from her account asked the nearly 60,000 people who "followed" her on Twitter to tell her, on behalf of a friend, what had happened to a teenage girl who had allegedly been abducted by her teacher.

The tweet named the child, even though the child's identity is protected under section 39 of the Children and Young Person's Act 1933.

It is a contempt of court to publish such information and "is punishable by a fine in the sum of £5,000".

While Bercow is clearly not a newspaper editor, she was something of a mouthpiece on Twitter and arguably - given the number of her followers and her Westminster prominence - would have been well advised to buff up on media law.

Her Twitter coup de grâce, however, may have been delivered by the person who hacked into her account and then tweeted the following message at 2.21 this morning:

"Hello 1000s of followers (funking lunatics). Stupid woman - password softearev." ®

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