The curious case of Grant Shapps’ Wikipedia page

Shapps denies editing his own and others MPs’ Wikipedia entries

The Tory party chairman Grant Shapps has rigorously defended himself today following allegations he repeatedly edited Wikipedia pages about himself and other MPs.

The Guardian claims that Wikipedia has barred a user named “Contribsx”, who had systematically removed embarrassing references to Shapps’ past business activities, and added “largely unflattering” details to other MPs’ Wikipedia pages.

The MPs affected include several senior Conservative figures including international development secretary Justine Greening, home secretary Philip Hammond, and the Tory election campaign strategist Lynton Crosby.

The information removed from Shapps’ page by the user includes all references to “Michael Green”, a pseudonym used by Shapps to market and promote his internet-based “get rich quick”scheme, which he ran for more than a year after becoming an MP.

Grant Shapps leans on a model house with a 'for sale' sign underneath

The details are embarrassing for Shapps who in March insisted he never had two jobs while he was a member of parliament.

He later admitted he had “screwed up”, and said he had denied having two jobs “over firmly”.

Shapps denies involvement with the Wikipedia allegations.

Speaking to the BBC he said the Guardian’s story was “categorically false and defamatory”.

“It is the most bonkers story I’ve seen in this election campaign so far,” he said.

“A simple look in my diary shows I was elsewhere,” he added.

Wikipedia pages can be edited by anyone, but “sock puppetry”, the use of a fake username to make changes for an “improper purpose”, is against Wikipedia’s rules.

David Cameron defended Shapps during an election event in Bedford this morning.

“Grant does a great job,” Cameron said. “He’s made a very clear statement about this, and I have nothing to add.”

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