Grant Shapps denies 'double life' accusations despite business alter ego


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Indy Politics

Conservative party co-chairman Grant Shapps today insisted he was not living a double life as he attempted to explain why he used an alter ego while in business.

The senior Tory said it was normal practice to use a pen name after pictures emerged of him attending an internet conference, shortly before he was elected to Parliament, wearing a "Michael Green" name badge.

It sparked claims by Labour MP Steve McCabe that Mr Shapps had "multiple personalities and questionable business practices" while Lord Prescott dubbed him "two tags" - a reference to his own nickname of "two Jags".

Mr Shapps also said claims that he had altered his entry on Wikipedia were "blown out of all proportion", insisting he had simply "corrected" information on the page after someone gave him higher exam grades than he had achieved and incorrectly stated that he was a Jehovah's Witness.

He told Murnaghan on Sky News: "So, before I went in to Parliament I used to write business publications and like many authors wrote under a business name.

"I was always very open about it and I actually went to one conference, where that picture was from, it was sort of open fact. It was in my biography, it was in the conference programme.

"I have seen some extraordinary headlines though, things about living double lives as though I was Francois Mitterrand with his second family and things.

"No, no, my wife and I set up the business, we were always very open about it and had a business author's name as many authors do. It was all a long time ago, I've not been involved for a long time."