MPs’ Wikipedia meddling uncovered

By Alex Stevenson

Expenses scandal information, brazen political insults and details about Harry Potter are among the 'facts' altered from within parliament, it has emerged.

The eyebrow-raising findings were unearthed by analysis from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism of nearly 10,000 changes to the online encyclopaedia by the two IP addresses used by parliament.

Research revealed the Wikipedia entries of one in six MPs had been altered from within parliament.

Labour MPs Fabian Hamilton, Clare Short and Joan Ryan were among those to have altered details about their expenses scandal.

Ms Short also adjusted her page to suggest she had retreated from a previous claim that UK intelligence agencies had sought to spy on UK diplomats at the UN in New York.

Other Wikipedia changes addressed less subtly unbalanced entries. A reference was added to outspoken RMT general secretary Bob Crow's "massive salary", while Labour mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone's surname was corrected from "Twatface". Tory whip Michael Fabricant was added to the list of 'notable DJs'.

Parliamentary staff amending Wikipedia did not confine themselves to politics, however. Five changes were made to pages relating to the parents of Harry Potter's friend Ron Weasley.

JRR Tolkien's fantasy classic The Lord Of The Rings was dismissed as "12 hours of utter tripe about some little bender running around trying to find a ring with his equally benderish mates".