Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/02/16/twitter_tory_labour_election/

Labour MP denies calling Tories 'scum-sucking pigs' on Twitter

'It woz a hacker wot did it'

By Kelly Fiveash

Posted in Security, 16th February 2010 13:49 GMT

A Labour minister has claimed his Twitter account was hacked, after a tweet went out under his name that brandished the Tories as "Scum-sucking pigs".

David Wright, who is the Labour MP for Telford, insisted that the "scum-sucking" phrase was added by someone else on the micro-blogging website.

The minister had been using Twitter to voice his opinion about the Tory Party's latest campaign to convince more of the British public to vote for it in the upcoming General Election.

The Conservative Party's latest sloganeering campaign "I've never voted Tory before but..." was launched yesterday and has already been derided by many.

A "#ivenevervotedtory" tag was created on Twitter on Monday and retweeted by some Labour supporters and MPs.

One of Wright's tweets from yesterday afternoon read: "ivenevervotedtory because you can put lipstick on a scum-sucking pig, but it's still a scum-sucking pig. And cos they would ruin Britain."

That message, reported by the Guardian and other news outlets, has since been deleted from Twitter after it caused upset among the Tory faithful.

A second tweet from Wright's account quickly followed that appeared to further mock the Conservative Party.

"Oh dear, upsetting Tories again. Must've hit a nerve."

Not long after that, the MP apologised but also explained what he had originally intended to say via his online Web 2.0 mouthpiece.

"IvenevervotedTory because you can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig. With apologies," explained Wright in an ill-judged follow-up.

He went on to tell Twitter user TrippyPip what the aforementioned pig was referring to:

"Think you'll find the pig is the Tory Party not Tory voters. But fair does, apology in the ether."

Wright also reminded the titchy-worded but loud-mouthed blogosphere that he was simply paraphrasing a Twitter message quoting Barack Obama's comment during the 2008 US presidential election campaign that "you can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig".

The minister denied using the phrase "scum-sucking", however.

In his most recent tweet Wright claimed: "What a commotion today. Looks like my tweets have been tinkered with. I will keep you posted."

Tory chairman Eric Pickles quickly jumped on Wright's claims that his Twitter account had been tampered with.

"Your [sic] a Minister of the Crown-you can't say 'I was hacked' and just walk away-give some proof", Pickles retorted on Twitter. ®