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Updated: February 27, 2010 23:31 IST

Downing Street on alert over “Twitterjacking”

Hasan Suroor
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Ed Miliband
AP Ed Miliband

Two Cabinet Ministers left red faced after “compromising” tweets went out from their accounts.

Downing Street was on Saturday reported to have ordered security checks on its own Twitter account and that of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's wife, Sarah, after a number of Ministers and MPs complained that their accounts had been hacked into and were being used to send sexually suggestive tweets to their friends and colleagues.

Two embarrassed Cabinet Ministers — Harriet Harman and Ed Miliband — were forced to deny that they had had anything to do with the raunchy messages sent in their names.

“I would never send a tweet like that,” fumed Ms. Harman, Leader of the House of Commons and Equality Minister, after another woman MP raised the issue.

Ms. Harman confirmed that a tweet of rather playful nature “purportedly sent by me” was widely circulated.

She became aware of it when she got a response to her supposed tweet from a senior Tory frontbench MP, Alan Duncan.

“I got a response to that bogus tweet from the former shadow Leader of the House who is now the Prisons Minister. I need to get back to him. I would never send a tweet like that,” she told MPs.

Mr. Duncan, who is openly gay and keeps a respectable distance from women, said the supposed Harman tweet said: “Alan is that really you?” He responded to the fake message saying: “Oh, yes, it's me darling. Tweet, tweet to you.”

Mr. Miliband, the Energy Secretary and brother of Foreign Secretary David Miliband, nearly choked on his breakfast when he found that his 6,000-odd followers had received an overtly sexual message from his account together with his photography.

“Oh, dear it seem like I've fallen victim to Twitter's latest ‘phishing' scam,” he wrote.

A number of MPs and leading journalists also complained that they had been victims of “Twitterjacking”.

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