The TikTok MPs – who now can’t use it on government phones

Despite security concerns, many MPs are active on TikTok and have tens of thousands of followers

Martha McHardy
Thursday 16 March 2023 15:14 GMT
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TikTok officially banned from UK government phones, announces Oliver Dowden

Political TikTok hounds can breathe a sigh of relief – Tory minister Grant Shapps has confirmed he will not be leaving the app after the government banned its use on official devices.

Taking to the platform after the announcement on Thursday, Mr Shapps, who has more than 14,000 followers, posted a ‘I’m not f***ing leaving’ meme as he vowed to continue using it on his personal phone.

The energy secretary posted a clip from the Wolf Of Wall Street in which Leonardo DiCaprio, portraying a New York stockbroker, declares the “show goes on”.

He wrote: “I’ve never used TikTok on Government devices and can hereby confirm I will NOT be leaving TikTok anytime soon! #politics #news #foryoupage #FYP #trend #wolfofwallstreet #imnotleaving #tiktok.”

Announcing the ban which was prompted by security fears about the Chinese-owned app, Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden confirmed it would not apply to personal devices for ministers, and will only apply to government corporate devices.

It follows similar moves in the United States, Canada, and Belgium

It follows similar moves in the United States, Canada, and Belgium, while India have blocked the app entirely.

Parliament’s official TikTok account was shut down last year, and the official No10 account has been dormant since Boris Johnson left office last July, but many MPs still use the platform.

Here’s a rundown of some of the more active accounts.

Matt Hancock

Perhaps the most TikTok famous MP, former health secretary Matt Hancock boasts over 184,000 followers and 1.6 million likes.

He launched his account while he was still health secretary, to discuss Covid-19 measures.

More recently, the majority of his posts include snippets from ITV show I’m a Celeberity Get Me Out of Here while he was a contestant on the latest series.

One video shows Mr Hancock dancing at the Jingle Bell Ball in December, captioned: “Electric slide still a work in progress”.

Another video shows the former health secretary flipping a pancake dressed in a union jack apron, captioned: “Just when you thought my puns couldn’t get any batter ... ” The post received half a million views.

His TikTok account follows his personal app, the Matt Hancock MP app, which was discontinued this year.

Grant Shapps

The secretary of state for energy security and net zero has previously boasted that TikTok is like “social media on crack”.

His posts strike a more serious tone than Mr Hancock’s, showing him carrying out parliamentary business and discussing legislation.

In one video, Mr Shapps is seen with former Labour leader Ed Miliband and education secretary Gillian Keegan in Westminster Hall watching the recent address by Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky.

However, Mr Shapps has made space for some more light-hearted content. One video shows him featured on different album covers, captioned: “Proof that not everything can be an album cover.”

Jeremy Corbyn

The former Labour leader has an impressive 62,000 followers on TikTok, and the account has amassed over 447,000 likes.

Mr Corbyn’s videos mainly feature him giving speeches at events or in Parliament, as well as archive footage of the MP for Islington North from throughout his career.

The MP has frequently used his TikTok account to discuss the goverment’s policies on refugees.

Nadine Dorries

Former culture secretary Nadine Dorries joined TikTok in March last year and has over 10,000 followers.

There are snippets from her TV appearances, along with her answering questions from other users about her job, as well as recommendations on which art gallery to visit.

Her most popular video has 40,000 views and was in response to a question from another TikToker who asked if she was still against same-sex marriage. In the clip, Dorries described voting against same-sex marriage as one of her “biggest regrets”.

Another popular video from last year featured Ms Dorries explaining the Online Safety Bill and even featured the MP doing a mic-drop.

However, Ms Dorries has not used the app since July last year.

Dehenna Davison

The Conservative MP for Bishop Auckland Dehenna Davison has over 3,000 followers on her TikTok account.

Her most recent video features footage from a speech Ms Davison gave in Parliament about LGBT rights, before it cuts to the MP standing in front of the LGBT flag discussing the ban on conversion therapy in the UK, accompanied by background music by Taylor Swift.

Ms Davison’s posts mainly feature her media appearances and show her carrying out her work as an MP.

Zarah Sultana

With 440,00 followers and 7.3 million likes, Labour MP Zarah Sultana is one of the more popular MPs on TikTok.

Her posts mainly feature footage of her speeches in Parliament or her media appearances. But the MP for Coventry South occasionally provides an insight into her life outside politics, posting videos of family weddings and football matches.

Nadia Whittome

The UK’s youngest MP, Nadia Whittome, boasts 46,000 followers on TikTok.

The Labour MP recently posted a video expressing support for Gary Lineker after he was suspended from Match of the Day in an impartiality row with the BBC after comparing the language used to launch a new asylum policy with 1930s Germany.

Ms Whittome posted: “Gary Lineker was right about asylum seekers”.

The Labour MP also shares videos of time spent with family and friends on her TikTok account.

Dr Luke Evans

Dr Luke Evans, the MP for Hinckley and Bosworth 42,000 followers on the platform.

He shares his day-to-day life representing his constituents and reposts clips from appearances in the Commons and on TV, as well as videos about his body image campaign.

He regularly replies to comments from viewers and provides explanations on a range of political processes – his most popular video at over 700,000 views is where he explains why MPs slouch in the Commons.

Marco Longhi

Marco Longhi, Conservative MP for Dudley North, has over 3,000 followers and is a regular on TikTok.

His posts range from clips from the Commons, a day in the life of an MP, enjoying some gelato and sharing his anger at Oxford University students “cancelling the Queen” for wanting to remove her portrait.

But Longhi’s most popular video which has 93,000 views is a response to Labour’s Zarah Sultana wanting to implement a four-day working week. He posted a rehearsed skit with fellow Tory MPs who questioned: “Does that mean Labour MP’s will have to work two extra days per week?”

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