Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03/21/boris_johnson_mayor_of_london_campaign_twitter_gaffe/

BoJo backpedals on Twitter hijack in mayoral glory bid

@MayorofLondon renamed BorisJohnson in re-election war

By Kelly Fiveash

Posted in Government, 21st March 2012 10:22 GMT

Boris Johnson came under fire yesterday after his minions changed the name of the official Mayor of London Twitter account – which has around 250,000 followers – to promote his campaign to win another term at City Hall.

However, BoJo was forced into an embarrassing U-turn on what was the first day of his bid to be re-elected by Londoners by returning the Twitter handle to @MayorofLondon from @BorisJohnson.

Worse still for the Labour party, as noted by the Guardian, the Twitter account also began carrying a link to the incumbent Mayor's own campaign website, backboris2012.com. It had previously punted the URL for City Hall's site.

Naughty: BoJo sought political capital from @MayorofLondon Twitter account

Some complained that Johnson's staff were misusing the account, which was set up in May 2008 and is managed by the Greater London Authority – a publicly-funded org.

Labour took its gripe to the GLA, but late yesterday Johnson's team reinstated the @MayorofLondon handle on Twitter and deleted any reference to BoJo's campaign in response to the "hysteria" it caused.

One-time Mayor of London Ken Livingstone is also bidding to return to City Hall for another term in office as Labour's official candidate, but he is currently trailing Johnson by about 8 percentage points, according to the latest poll from YouGov.

Livingstone's campaign told the Guardian: "It stinks of the abuse of public resources for the Conservative party to appropriate the official social media of the mayor." ®