Candidate called Michael Green standing against Grant Shapps - but who is he?

Political Scrapbook editor Laurence Durnan

Political Scrapbook editor Laurence Durnan - Credit: Archant

A candidate called Michael Green will be standing for Welwyn Hatfield MP, it was confirmed today.

The Vote Michael Green website

The Vote Michael Green website - Credit: Archant

The mystery candidate, who goes by the business pen name used by the Conservative candidate, registered to vote shortly before today’s 4pm deadline.

It follows a campaign by Westminster news site Political Scrapbook.

Backers say the candidate is a recognisable figure who has changed his name by deed poll.

Editor Laurence Durnan, who is acting as agent, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “The original idea came from a comment on Facebook under one of our stories, saying ‘wouldn’t it be great if somebody called Michael Green stood as a candidate’.

The Vote Michael Green website

The Vote Michael Green website - Credit: Archant

“We thought it was a brilliant idea.”

Mr Durnan said he had stood in Hatfield town centre today collecting signatures, and added: “We’ve had a really good reception.”

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He remained coy about who the candidate was, but said it was someone with “recognition factor” who had changed their name by deed poll.

The agent would not comment on whether he is a comedian.

He said: “I’d love to see the look on Grant Shapps’ face when he finds out what we’ve done.”

A website, www.votemichaelgreen.com, has also offered merchandise for backers.

Mr Shapps has come under fire after stating in a radio interview that he had not used the name Michael Green, which he used when running internet marketing firm How To Corp, since becoming an MP in 2005.

But footage uncovered by The Guardian revealed an occassion in 2006 when he used the business pen name to pitch a product.

After the footage emerged, Mr Shapps said he had mixed up dates.