Chuka Umunna's 'British Obama' Wikipedia entry came from his former office
The rising Labour star has complained about the comparison in the past
Adam Sherwin is Media Correspondent at The Independent and an award-winning writer who specialises in covering the entertainment, broadcasting, music and popular culture industries. Previously Media writer and diarist at The Times, he was a co-founder of the Beehive City media and entertainment website. As regular contributor to BBC London 94.9 Radio station, he was named Music Business writer of the year at the awards of influential music industry site Record of the Day in 2006.
Thursday 11 April 2013
A Wikipedia entry comparing the rising Labour star Chuka Umunna to President Obama was created using a computer at the law firm where the MP once worked, it has emerged.
The Shadow Business Secretary, tipped as a future Labour leader, was unable to deny that he was the source of the flattering addition, which was published in 2008, before he entered Parliament.
The Evening Standard discovered web records which showed that a computer registered to solicitors Rochman Landau, Mr Umunna’s employer from 2006 onwards, added an article to his Wikipedia profile which said he “may end up as the UK’s Barack Obama”.
Wikipedia’s code of conduct says users should not edit the site to promote their own interests or those of their employers.
When asked about the Obama comparison, in a 2011 newspaper interview, the MP said: “It annoys me a bit. You get lazy journalists and the odd blogger who’ll suggest that I fancy myself as ‘Britain’s Obama’ and that I seek to encourage the comparison. It’s never been something I’ve encouraged.”
When asked if he had made the Wikipedia change himself, Mr Umunna issued a statement via a spokesman. It read: “This change was made over half a decade ago. Chuka has no record or recollection of having a log-in for Wikipedia or having edited it. Though staff have had to make corrections for racist vandalism of the page in the past.”
It was claimed this week that Mr Umunna may have created his own lengthy profile on Wikipedia in 2007 under a pseudonym, “Socialdemocrat”. Mr Umunna said he had no recollection of this log-in.
Previously it emerged that the former club DJ had used an alias on an exclusive social networking site to ask for advice on how to avoid “trash” on nights out.
Mr Umunna admitted he was a member of ASmallWorld, which is known as “MySpace for Millionaires”, under a pseudonym, but has now left it.
Keith Simpson, Conservative MP, said: “I don’t know if he has made the change. However, the trouble with changing one’s own profile page on Wikipedia is that it's rather like an internet facelift; you can always see the stretch marks.”
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