The prime minister was knocked off his stride at the launch event in Telford by a question on the scandal, which he claimed not to have followed.
For a few moments, his normally confident and fluent speaking style dried up as he struggled to find a response.
After an few sentences peppered with ums and ers, he finally recovered his flow by diverting the conversation onto one of his well-worn routines about Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit stance.
Tories were accused of misleading the public after they temporarily rebranded one of their official party accounts to make it look like a factchecking service during a TV leaders debate between Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn on Tuesday.
The CCHQ Press account was renamed factcheckUK during the debate and the party’s logo switched for a white tick against a purple background as it pumped out Conservative claims with the word “Fact”.
Twitter said the Conservatives had misled the public and it would take “decisive corrective action” if a similar stunt was attempted again. But foreign secretary Dominic Raab defended the move, saying that “no one gives a toss about the social media cut and thrust”.
Following his manifesto speech, Mr Johnson was asked if the move had undermined trust in politics.
Appearing blind-sided by the question, the prime minister stumbled in his words as he replied: “Well, I’m afraid that the Twittersphere is not really my, er, my province, er.
“But what I can say is that, um, I’m informed that, um, that Labour have some sort of operation, which is, er, very similar to this but, um, I haven’t followed this Twitter stuff with perhaps the attention that you would like.
“I will apprise myself of the detail of this.”
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