Diary: Chairman Shapps is making a bit of a tweet of himself

Ruth Robinson, whoever she is, must be very proud. She has set up a Twitter account, has not yet tweeted but she has one follower – not just any follower, a Cabinet minister.

There is also someone called Ash Cloke who is in exactly the same position. She has too never tweeted, but she has a follower, and it is the same follower. He is the newly elevated Chairman of the Conservative Party, Grant Shapps.

Mr Shapps is an avid tweeter, who proudly announced this week that his follower count had passed 57,000. He follows all kinds of people, some of whom have tweeted. Daniel Smith, for example, has compiled three tweets, although he has only one follower to read them, namely Grant Shapps. Maiten Cornejo has tweeted twice. Her first simply said "Justin Bieber".

The second announced in Spanish that she was taking communion in her room. Nico Zeeman tweets only in Dutch and Kayla in Polish. Mr Shapps follows them all.

In July, the Political Scrapbook website alleged that Mr Shapps was artificially boosting his Twitter following by using a bot which randomly picks feeds for him to follow, hoping they will return the compliment by following him. After a while, the bot unfollows them. There are people out there who claim to have been unfollowed by Grant Shapps as many as four times. It was an outrageous suggestion. Obviously, in the midst of his many ministerial duties, Mr Shapps personally chooses each interesting Twitter account that he follows.

Follies of youth should not be a barrier

Yet another would-be candidate has fallen victim to the ridiculous rule that no one who has ever been convicted of an imprisonable offence, no matter how long ago, can run for any of the new regional Police Commissioner jobs.

This rule eliminated Bob Ashford, who seemed highly qualified to be a Labour candidate in Bristol until it emerged that he copped a £5 fine in 1966, when he was 13. A second Labour candidate had to pull out over an offence committed 47 years ago.

Last week, Mike Quigley, former leader of Bassetlaw Council, and would-be Tory candidate for the post of Nottinghamshire Police Commissioner, announced that he too was out of contention because of a "minor offence" committed 44 years ago. He did not say at the time what the offence was, but has now revealed to the Nottingham Post that he was convicted of smashing a window while celebrating his 21st birthday, though he could not remember doing it. It was that sort of an evening.

Undeserved abuse from Down Under

Grahame Morris, the low profile left-wing Labour MP for Easington, has been getting some undeserved abuse this week. This is because an Australian politician, Tony Abbott, was subjected to a tough television interview by a woman journalist, Leigh Sales, who was then denounced by Grahame Morris for behaving like "a real cow". But the Grahame Morris who used that offensive term, is a political strategist for the Australian Liberal Party. Nothing to do with Grahame Morris from County Durham.

Dinosaur George has lost a lot of Respect

George Galloway's jurassic views on rape have cost his Respect Party whatever chance they had of making an impact on the impending by-election in Manchester Central, where the sitting MP has pulled out because he is running for Police Commissioner.

Kate Hudson, general secretary of CND, was to be Respect's candidate until she announced "with a heavy heart" yesterday that she has resigned because the remarks by Galloway offend her principles. She was the second person put up as Respect Party candidate in that by-election. They will have to scrape around to find a third.

ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam