Nine times politicians tried to be 'real' on social media, and failed

Ten times politicians tried to be 'real' on social media, and failed

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Earlier this year in May, it was revealed that Conservative MPs were being trained on how to use social media to show the electorate that they were "real people". 

MPs hoped that using social media better would attract the younger voter. Whether it is working or not is yet to be seen, but it is clear that it is not just Conservative MPs who need helping seeming normal online. 

Here are nine examples of politician's awkward usages of social media, and many a failed attempt at being "real people". 


Daniel Kawczynski, Conservative MP for Shrewsbury

Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski was described as looking “a bit like a lemon” after posting on Twitter that he was paying more for lemons because of an “EU protectionist racket”, while standing in the fruit and veg aisle in Tesco.

Mr Kawczynski tweeted: “Now at Tescos in Shrewsbury. Please remember EU protectionist racket means inefficient EU growers preferred to other non EU Mediterranean growers, due to massive tariffs imposed by EU. This leads to you paying more for your products! No more after March 2019! #Brexit”

However the comments took a turn for the worse as one tweeter took the opportunity to “correct” him that the lemons were likely from South Africa, and not the EU at all.


Greg Hands, Conservative MP for Chelsea and Fulham

Greg Hands, MP for Chelsea and Fulham was caught looking quizzical in a tweet about the recently published Plan A+ by the Institute of Economic Affairs, which backs a Canada-style deal for the UK post-Brexit.

He tweeted: “I voted Remain in 2016, but I believe that seeking a Free Trade Agreement with the EU, similar to what’s laid out in this @iealondon paper “Plan A+” is preferable to Chequers. Paper is right to consider the impact of any EU deal across all of UK’s economic & trade relationships.”


Ed Balls, previous Labour MP for Normanton

This one is a classic from all the way back in 2011, when then Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer tweeted his own name, instead of searching it on the site.

Since 2011, every April 28 – also known as Ed Balls Day on twitter – people take to twitter to retweet the original tweet, with companies like Virgin Atlantic and Domino’s Pizza getting involved.


Conservative Party Conference 2017 feat. Michael Fallon



Behind the scenes of Day 3 at #CPC2017

A post shared by Conservatives (@conservatives) on

During last year's Conservative Party Conference, the party put out a number of "behind the scenes" photos showing what the MPs got up to when they weren't making speeches. 

The photos included a very perplexed Michael Fallon, and a smirking Jeremy Hunt sat behind a door. 


Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Defence

In September last year, posted a photo of his Land Rover as a declaration of how much he loved this country. 

Mr Williamson posted on Instagram: "In many ways when I look at my #landrover I think it epitomises everything that is so fantastic about #greatbritain a go anywhere do anything attitude.

"Let's never forget how amazing this country is, never letting anything hold us back."


Ben Bradley, Conservative MP for Mansfield

Conservative MP Ben Bradley had to publicly apologise after he accused Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of being a spy. He posted the apology on Twitter, asking his followers to retweet him. 

He said: "On the 19th of February I made a defamatory statement about @jeremycorbyn. I have apologised to Mr Corbyn and here is the complete text of my apology. Please retweet."


Greg Knight, Conservative MP for East Yorkshire

For the General Election last year, Conservative MP Greg Knights created a campaign video like no other. The video contained slow 'walk-in', a speech to camera and a jazzy jingle. 

Mr Knight also increased his majority from 2015 by 7.7%. 


Theresa May

At the Conservative Party Conference last year, leader Theresa May struggled through her keynote speech coughing. 

Before the speech, Mrs May took to twitter to tweet a photo of her speech surrounded by cough medicine - all with the caption *cough*. 


And a bonus post from the Liberal Democrats' Press Office

The Liberal Democrats' Press Office got into a Twitter argument with the Conservative Party Press Office, after the Conservative account tweeted: "Liberal 'Democrats' trying to block the triggering of Article 50 and want to ignore Britain’s decision to leave the EU."

What followed was a series of back-and-forth with photos ridiculing each other. When others started getting involved, some criticising them for being immature, the Liberal Democrats simply tweeted: "They started it."