Alan Johnson and the ‘first political ever tweet’ that got away

Written by David Singleton on 26 October 2017 in Diary

The Labour grandee’s landmark tweet has been wiped from the archives and cannot be retrieved.

In his 2016 book The Long & Winding Road, Labour grandee Alan Johnson suggests that he was “responsible for the first ever political tweet” back in 2007.

He explains that the message was sent out by “a guy called Stuart” who had been hired for his skills in social media.

But anyone wanting to know the content of this key piece of digital political history is out of luck, it emerged today.

“As the guy called Stuart I can confirm it was the first use of Twitter in a UK political campaign and the rest is also true,” said digital consultant Stuart Bruce, after The Independent’s John Rentoul highlighted the relevant snippet from Johnson’s book.

But when asked to reveal the message in question, Bruce confirmed that he was unable to access the long dormant @johnson4deputy account because “Twitter has killed it”.

Sadly, it means that – unless Twitter bosses have a change of heart – we may never know the content of the first ever political tweet in the UK.

All is not quite lost, though.

A Guardian article from 2007 does reveal that one of the tweets from @johnson4deputy account stated: “Heading off to Leeds after a really successful campaign launch. 65 PLP supporters already declared ...”




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