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As his name tag ('Michael Green') shows, Grant Shapps is not a novice in the art of bending the facts.

As his name tag (‘Michael Green’) shows, Grant Shapps is not a novice in the art of bending the facts.

Remember when Vox Political took issue with Grant Shapps over the business he ran while sitting as a member of Parliament?

Back in October 2013, this blog stated: “As ‘Michael Green’, in the run-up to the 2005 election and afterwards, he “charged clients £183 an hour for advice on how to make money from the web as well as offering tips on how to beat the recession blues, including splashing out on a jet-ski or learning to play the guitar,” according to the Daily Mail. Apparently he said his use of the name was to keep his business interests separate from his future political work, but he ended his involvement with that business in 2009, four years after he entered Parliament.

“‘Sebastian Fox’ was another alias he used on Howtocorp, the web publishing company he created in 2000.”

Today – March 16, 2015 – the BBC tells us: “Mr Shapps admitted he had ‘over firmly’ denied continuing his writing career – under the pen name Michael Green – when he entered the Commons in 2005.

“In an interview with LBC Radio three weeks ago, Mr Shapps said it was ‘absolutely clear’ he was not doing business as Michael Green while he was an MP, saying ‘I did not have a second job while being an MP, end of story’.

“However, Mr Shapps has now acknowledged that he was mistaken ‘over the dates’ of his outside employment during the interview.”

“This came after the Guardian issued what it says is a recording of a sales pitch made in the summer of 2006 in which Mr Shapps, using his Michael Green pen name, says he will be running his ‘mentoring programme’ to hire staff and produce software to create websites.”

Shapps has told us he fully declared all his business interests, but Labour wants an inquiry. After all – if he can get his dates mixed up in a radio interview, who knows what else he has “over firmly” denied?

Meanwhile, the fact he was making a sales pitch in 2006, at a time when he reckoned he was “winding up” the business, suggests that Vox Political was right to pick up on it.

As Labour MP Chris Bryant said in a tweet yesterday, “So, basically, Grant Shapps has been fibbing all the while. Is that right? Or was it Michael Green that was fibbing?”

This writer responded: “Definitely Grant Shapps. Michael Green only does what Shapps says.”

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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