What He Actually Said: Tory Chairman Accused of Editing Rivals’ Wikipedia Pages

Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps has been accused of secretly editing Wikipedia to promote himself and add unflattering details about his rivals.

Shapps is alleged to have been behind the account Contribsx, which has continually deleted embarrassing information about the Tory chairman while adding potentially damaging information about other politicians.

Wikipedia says it has suspended the account after claiming to have found evidence suggesting it was run either by Shapps or under “his clear direction”. Shapps has denied the allegations.

Here are some of the politicians who have fallen victim of the account:

Justine Greening

Justine_Greening

Contribsx added a paragraph about Greening’s failure to take part in the crucial parliamentary vote over military intervention in Syria because she missed the division bell. The government lost the vote by 285 votes to 272.

He also said she was criticised by London Mayor Boris Johnson for accepting a cabinet post despite her opposition to a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

Karl Turner

KarlTurner

Added a sentence about Karl Turner admitting breaking House of Commons rules by sending out invitations to Labour party fundraiser from a parliamentary email account.

Francis Maude

Francis_Maude,_Minister_for_the_Cabinet_Office

Could Maude be in line for a peerage? Contribsx inserted a sentence saying the Cabinet Secretary could be “elevated to the Lords” after the election.

Alan Duncan

Minister_of_State_for_International_Development,_Alan_Duncan,_MP_(11836631924)

Contribsx added a paragraph calling Duncan “distinctly pro-Palestinian” and saying that he “found himself under pressure to remove a video of himself accusing Israel of a ‘land grab’ in the occupied territories”.

Philip Hammond

Philip_Hammond,_Secretary_of_State_for_Defence

Added a sentence about Hammond being “one of four cabinet ministers not to vote in favour of gay marriage” after he abstained on the vote.

Dominic Grieve

Dominic_Grieve

Also added a sentence on Grieve abstaining on the same-sex marriage vote.

Sarah Teather

640px-Sarah_Teather_MP_at_Harrogate

Added a sentence about how the Lib Dem MP is standing down from parliament because she “no longer feels that Nick Clegg’s party fights sufficiently for social justice and liberal values on immigration”.

Steve McCabe

Steve_McCabe_MP

Added a paragraph about McCabe over-claiming on his expenses.

Adam Afriyie

Adam_Afriyie_on_street

Added a couple of sentences about Afriyie’s attempt to force an early EU referendum, saying it “failed to gain support from even the most Eurosceptic MPs.”

James Brokenshire

JamesBrokenshireHomeOffice

Added a couple of sentences about how Brokenshire’s plans to tackle online terror content are opposed by broadband companies and free speech groups.

Michael Fabricant

Michael_Fabricant_MP_(2005)

Contribsx changed the section on Fabricant’s sacking to state specifically that he was sacked “by Party Chairman Grant Shapps”, and took out a part that said Fabricant blamed his dismissal on strategist Lynton Crosby.

And here are some examples of how Contribsx has been very helpful towards Grant Shapps:

640px-Grant_Shapps_Official

Removed information on multiple occasions about Shapps running a business under the pseudonym Michael Green, including deleting a large section on it in March this year.

Added a sentence earlier this month quoting a Telegraph article describing Shapps as an “expenses saint”.

Removed information on a previous report of Shapps attempting to edit his Wikipedia page.

Edited a paragraph on a ‘patronising’ picture he tweeted to advertise cuts in tax on beer and bingo that would “help hardworking people do more of the things they enjoy”. Contribsx changed the section to say the picture was really the fault of George Osborne and Lynton Crosby, implying Shapps had unfairly taken the blame.

Shapps has responded to the allegations by saying: “It’s categorically untrue. It’s absolutely nothing to do with me. It’s just ridiculous. It looks like an extreme dirty tricks campaign designed to do anything but talk about policies.”

Liberal Democrat campaign chairman has already has some fun at Shapp’s expense, releasing a statement saying: “Grant is a wonderful guy – he is a credit to the Conservative Party, a fine sportsman and reads a book a day. We could all learn a lot from him. Quite simply, a colossus.” The statement added that it had been “edited by Wikipedia user Contribsx”.


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