Police ask blogger to remove tweet about Ukip
Concerns raised about stifling of political debate after police visit man following complaint from Ukip councillor over policy tweet.
Police have asked a blogger to remove tweets criticising Ukip policies after receiving a complaint from one of the party’s councillors.
Michael Abberton disclosed on his blog that he was visited by two Cambridgeshire police officers on Saturday. He was told he had not committed any crimes, but was asked to delete some of his tweets, particularly a retweet of a faked poster giving 10 reasons to vote for Ukip, such as scrapping paid maternity leave and raising income tax for the poorest 88% of Britons.
Abberton, a Green party member who writes a blog on science and green politics, described the incident on his Axe of Reason blog.”The police explained that I hadn’t broken any law – there was no charge to answer and it really wasn’t a police matter.
“They asked me to ‘take it down’ but I said I couldn’t as it had already been retweeted and appropriated, copied, many times and I no longer had any control of it (I had to explain to one of the officers what Twitter was and how it worked). They said that they couldn’t force me to take it down anyway.”
The police said they made inquiries “as to whether any offences had been committed under the Representation of the People Act but none were revealed and no further action was taken.” The complaint from Ukip was that Abberton was impersonating and misrepresenting the party.