There’s been a flurry of discussion, mainly on Twitter, following PR Week’s report highlighting the possible problem for MPs who have “MP” in their Twitter name.
That’s because Parliament’s rules say you can’t call yourself an MP if you’re not one and all MPs stop being ones when Parliament is dissolved for a general election.
There are really only two things to bear in mind about the story:
(1) We have a story of this type in the run up to every general election since t’internet came along. Previously it’s been “MPs will have to shut websites” or “MPs will have to stop sending emails”. But in practice the combination of Parliament being sensibly flexible over its rules (yes, I did just write that – clearly not the same team of people as the ones still wanting to keep Parliamentary footage off YouTube) and a little bit of ingenuity has always got round the issue.
But of course, it’s more fun to just PANIC!!!!!!
What’s more of an issue is that the Government’s decision not to use existing legal powers to update election imprint laws means that there isn’t clear guidance on what candidates (ex MPs or not) should do to stay the right side of the law. If we see some anonymous attack tweets directed at candidates that question could become a lively one.