Cornish MP "sickened" to be linked to far-right group on Facebook
A CORNISH MP today said it was “sickening” to be linked to the far-right British National Party (BNP) on the social networking site Facebook.
Sheryll Murray, who represents South East Cornwall, said a stranger had signed her up to be a member of the splinter group the “Virtual BNP”.
The faction appeared on the “groups” section of Mrs Murray’s personal page – together with more than a dozen organisations she had not actively sanctioned.
Upon being contacted by The Herald, Mrs Murray immediately clicked away all the groups.
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Plymouth Sutton MP Oliver Colvile was also surprised to hear he was apparently a member of more than 20 groups, including several promoting swing or gypsy music.
Conservative Mrs Murray called for Facebook to stop internet users from signing others up to groups without their knowledge.
She said: “I think it is absolutely appalling that people use MPs’ social media to do this. I had not signed up to any of the groups on the page.
“It is sickening to think someone would do this.”
Mrs Murray later posted on her Facebook site: “As I have been joined to groups by others, some of which I am against, I have taken the decision not to join any groups.
“I have currently removed myself from all groups, please do not be offended, and I will not be joining any new ones.”
The Virtual BNP claimed to have about 200 members, but most of the posts appeared to be from two people.
It opposes the leadership of party leader Nick Griffin, though posts show the members share his anti-immigration views.
Other groups to which Mrs Murray seemed to belong are more familiar, including community interests around her constituency.
But she said she had not signed up to any of them, even if she did support some of the causes.
Mrs Murray said: “One group is called ‘born and brought up in Liskeard’. Why would anyone sign me up for that? Anyone who knows me knows I was brought up in Millbrook.”
She said that any group which wanted her support should contact her directly.
Tory Mr Colvile said he would look at the 23 groups on his pages, including many he had never heard of.
They included the Biker Friendly La Bamba music bar and the Hot Club of Stonehouse, which promotes gypsy swing music, and Hamer and Isaacs Gypsy Swing Band.
He said: “I am certainly not a fan of gypsy or swing music.”
Plymouth Moor View Labour MP Alison Seabeck and Conservative MP for South West Devon Gary Streeter are not signed up for any groups on their Facebook pages.