'Hundreds' of people sign up to Brexit party under false names in internet prank

One of the pseudonyms used by pranksters to sign up to the Brexit party. Image: Twitter

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The new Brexit party endorsed by Nigel Farage has seen 35,000 people sign up as members in its first 48 hours, according to the former UKIP leader - but several of those may be fake.

A writer discovered that the website allowed the same user to sign up multiple times, and encouraged his followers to do the same.

Mr Farage tweeted on Monday that in its first two days of existence, the Brexit party had seen a flood of support.

“An astonishing 35,000 people have registered as supporters of The Brexit Party in the first 48 hours, our politicians had better listen,” he wrote.

The party was founded by Catherine Blaiklock, a former UKIP candidate for Great Yarmouth during the 2017 General Election. Her campaign slogan was ‘Make Yarmouth Great Again’,

 

 

'Amateurs-ville'

Writer Otto English responded to Mr Farage’s tweet, writing that he’d signed up to the Brexit party “15 times”.

Mr English told talkRADIO he used to run a Jacob Rees-Mogg parody account on Twitter, but had not played any online pranks in the last two years.

“I noticed there was a weakness they’d left gaping open. Since they’ve screwed up the country I thought, ‘why not muck up their website?’ It’s a bit of tit for tat,” he said.

A prankster signs up to the Brexit party as Jacob Rees-Mogg. Image: Twitter

The website, which is currently one page with a form to sign up and a PayPal donation link, appears to allow the same person to sign up to the party multiple times.

“It’s incredibly low-tech, I think it’s one person,” said Mr English, who says 800,000 people have engaged with his tweet, meaning they’ve seen or encountered it on Twitter, and estimates that "hundreds" may have signed up under false pretences.

Another comedic alias used to sign up to the Brexit party. Image: Twitter

At the time of writing it had 737 retweets and 584 replies, many of them people sharing screengrabs to show their own false registrations to the Brexit party.

“Farage seems to have thrown his hook onto her [Catherine Blaiklock’s] line without really doing much research on her,” Mr English continued.

“What he’s got himself into is amateurs-ville. To leave such a huge open goal [on the website] is extraordinary, especially for Farage who’s presenting himself as a serious politician.”

Ms Blaiklock previously told talkRADIO's Eamonn Holmes: "We're not going to be a big complicated party, we're basically a single purpose party to achieve that and to hope that we can force some sense on the other parties."

 

Update 13/02/2019: Catherine Blaiklock told talkRADIO she "could not comment" on the matter.

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