The last 24 hours of the 2019 General Election campaign has provided a great deal of focus on the way in which the Conservative Campaign Headquarters has dealt with social media, in particular its Twitter profile. However the response from some senior party politicians including Johnson, Cleverly and Gove is potentially more concerning, given that they are still Government Ministers including the Prime Minister and not just campaigners for the election. A few days ago as I watched Newsnight, Tom Tugenhadt was being interviewed and he pointed out that he was no longer in a Parliamentary role due to Purdah which I mistakenly interpreted as a Ministerial one. He kindly responded to my tweet explaining that in fact he has not been a Minister for several years but the role was in fact as Chairman of a Parliamentary Committee. “I was chair of @CommonsForeign not a minister that’s why my term ended with the end of Parliament. Ministers stay in post, chairs of committees don’t.”
So my concern is that when Ministers who are still in post to run the nation and then make dishonest or certainly deceitful statements, albeit over an election campaign are truly fit for purpose and if they are suitable to be in Government at all. The twitter change by CCHQpress as shown above was according to Michael Gove not a problem because he claims that the one on the left is clearly not an Independent twitter account and it is obvious that it is not. The difference between the one on the left and the one on the right that appeared a few hours later in terms of defining who CCHQ are is very clear. The comment from James Cleverly was at least to blame the CCHQ team led by Alan Mabbutt for making the change and in any case claiming it was perfectly legitimate and Johnson claimed it was below his pay scale or something similar when he was being questioned.
The reality as I wrote a few days ago is that CCHQ is not fit for purpose as a commercial body due to its Experian record, let alone being credible in its use of social media. However the incompetence of Mabbutt vs that of Johnson, Gove and Cleverly is hard to see as being very different in qualitative terms.