Hit or Miss? MP Chuka Umunna responds to claims he edited his own Wikipedia page

Labour MP Chuka Umunna is in the firing line after failing to deny that one of his team likened him to Barack Obama on Wikipedia, under the pseudonym 'Socialdemocrat'.

MP Chuka Umunna: caught editing Wikipedia page (Credit: Getty Images
MP Chuka Umunna: caught editing Wikipedia page (Credit: Getty Images

Wikipedia forbids users from editing posts to promote their own or employers' interests. Umunna said: 'I don't have any recollection of that log-in or the changes. But I can't say for certain that someone with my campaign did not set up that log-in.'

How I see it

Stuart Bell, co-founder, DawBell

Editing a Wikipedia entry is not a crime. But to put out a quote including ‘no recollection’ for this particular situation is a PR crime. Phrases such as ‘I can’t say for certain’ almost scream out ‘yes it was me, I did it’, although, of course I, like anyone else, can’t actually say for certain that he did.

It provides ammunition for the opposition, who have been gifted a PR opportunity, all of which adds up to a far more entertaining story.  

But people wouldn’t be shocked if many politicians’ teams are doing the same thing.

As for the Obama remarks: saying one thing in public and doing another in private (and then hiding behind anonymous posts) will not help his long-term credibility and trust factor with the public.

The misjudged comment in response to the situation simply added a lot of fuel to the fire. 

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