General Election 2015: Grant Shapps denies Wikipedia sock-puppet claims, saying he "was elsewhere" when changes were made

 
Catherine Neilan
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Grant Shapps says it couldn't have been him because he was "elsewhere" (Source: Getty)

Conservative party chairman Grant Shapps has denied claims that he edited entries about himself and rival MPs on Wikipedia.

Rumours that he was a “sock-puppet” - using a false alias to spread misinformation – have been circulating around the blogosphere for many years.
But they resurfaced yesterday when the Guardian reported that Wikipedia had blocked an account it suspected of being used by Shapps or someone “under his clear direction”.
Around a third of the changes made by the account Contribsx were made to Shapps' own Wikipedia entry, while the rest were “largely unflattering changes” to the pages of his political rivals, the Guardian reported.
But Shapps – whose reputation recently took a battering after it emerged he had lied about holding a second job under the pseudonym Michael Green while being an MP – told the BBC the claims were “categorically false and defamatory”.
"It is the most bonkers story I've seen in this election campaign so far," he said.
Shapps claimed it could not have been him, saying: “ A simple look in my diary shows I was elsewhere [when the changes were made].”
It would not have been anyone else in his team, he added. “Nobody has ever been authorised to make such changes,” Shapps said.
BBC's Newsnight programme claims Shapps is considering a complaint against the Guardian and consulting on whether the paper had broken the law surrounding protecting candidates during election campaigns from false statements.
Update: Michael Rosen, children's author and former Children's Laureate, has penned an ode to Shapps. It's excellent.
Visit our General Election poll tracker to see how the polls changed in the build-up to election day. 

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