Grant Shapps branded 'a colossus' by Lib Dem party in satirical response to Wikipedia controversy
PUBLISHED: 09:50 22 April 2015 | UPDATED: 10:13 22 April 2015
A Lib Dem election supremo has branded Welwyn Hatfield Tory candidate Grant Shapps "a colossus" in a tongue-in-cheek response to a political furore.
Mr Shapps strongly denies editing his own Wikipedia page, and those of rivals in the Conservative and Labour party, following claims made in an article in the Guardian.
The Conservative candidate and party chairman said the statement was false and defamatory.
Following the report, which was given widespread coverage in the national press, the Liberal Democrat party released a press release poking fun of the controversy.
Paddy Ashdown, who is heading the party’s election campaign, was quoted branding the candidate “a colossus”.
The press release, in full, stated: “Grant Shapps is a wonderful human being, a literary great and has in no way ever brought his party or politics into disrepute, the Chairman of the Liberal Democrat General Election Campaign said.
“Paddy Ashdown called the Conservative Party Chairman a credit to his craft and applauded him for his contribution to writing, including for his Booker Prize-winning novel ‘Stinking Rich Three’.
“The former Liberal Democrat leader also urged journalists to stop calling Mr Shapps ‘Michael Green’ – because it is definitely not funny and was entirely normal for politicians to use alter-egos.
“Liberal Democrat General Election Campaign Chairman Paddy Ashdown said: ‘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.
‘He has led the Tories with exemplary skill and if, like me, you have been lucky enough to meet him – you know you have been touched by greatness.
‘Quite simply, a colossus.’”
But it ends with a note stating: “This Press Release has been edited by Wikipedia user Contribsx” – a reference to the username of a mysterious Wikipedia user who has apparently been editing pages.