Nadine Dorries has told Labour MP Wes Streeting to “wake up” after he responded to a parody Twitter account believing it to be hers.
The account, controlled by @Cassiesmyth, pretended to be the Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Secretary by using her full name and a copy of her Twitter profile picture.
The spoof account retweeted Conservative MP Nicola Richards’s resignation with the caption: “it feels like nobody wants to get up and work these days”.
Richards had tweeted her resignation from her role as parliamentary private secretary (PPS) to the Department for Transport, saying she cannot serve “under the current circumstances”.
Labour MP Wes Streeting appeared to believe the parody account to be the real Dorries, and shared the tweet, calling it “remarkable”.
In a now-deleted tweet, the shadow health and social care secretary wrote: “The Conservative MP for West Bromwich East is lazy according to a Conservative cabinet minister.
“Remarkable. Labour leaflets don’t write themselves – Nadine writes them.”
To which the real Nadine Dorries responded: “Wake up, Wes. It’s a reported parody account.”
Streeting went on to recognise his mistake but added: “Really sorry, Nadine. In my defence, it’s hard to tell parody from reality…”
Streeting was not the only MP to fall for the parody account, with Conservatives Jamie Wallis and Angela Richardson defending their colleague in since-deleted tweets.
Wallis, the MP for Bridgend and Porthcawl wrote: “Nicola is a dedicated, hard-working MP as well as a trusted colleague and good friend.
“Responding to her resignation in such a manner is beneath someone in your position.
“Bitterly disappointing Nadine!”
Richardson, the MP for Guildford and Cranleigh wrote: “PPS work incredibly hard without any additional pay and often zero recognition for huge commitment outside Westminster.
“Not a necessary nor a constructive observation.”
Ipswich Conservative MP Tom Hunt also appeared fall for the joke tweet and called it a “totally uncalled for attack” on Richards.
The parody account has since changed its name to Cassie and removed the profile picture.