Chin chin! British PM Cameron links to spoof Twitter account

LONDON Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:54am EDT

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron waits to greet the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, in Downing Street, central London July 15, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron waits to greet the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, in Downing Street, central London July 15, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Winning

Related Topics

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron fell victim to a Twitter spoof on Monday when he sent a message linked to a fake account that lampoons the government and portrays ministers as a privileged elite.

Cameron once said that the trouble with the social networking service was its "instant-ness" and the risk of people making themselves look foolish by sending too many Tweets.

On the day the government launched a controversial cap on welfare payments, Cameron sent this message: "@IDS_MP and I are determined to make work pay and help the UK compete on the #GlobalRace".

He meant to link to the account of Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, the minister behind the new limits on benefit payments.

However, Duncan Smith does not appear to have a Twitter account. Instead, the link was to a spoof page that jokes sardonically about the high price of champagne and foie gras.

One message said: "A 15 percent increase in MPs' pay is a disgrace. Has anyone seen the price of foie gras and Armand de Brignac...we need at least 25 percent."

Another read: "I've always supported a mansion tax. Your tax buys my mansion. Chin chin!"

Cameron's official spokesman made light of the slip-up, suggesting the episode could be summed up with the Twitter hashtag: #onetotakeonthechin.

Asked whether Cameron writes his own Tweets or approves them before his team sends them out, he said: "The prime minister's Tweets are entirely his views."

(Reporting by Peter Griffiths; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

FILED UNDER: