A businesswoman has claimed she attended a networking event with Tory Chairman Grant Shapps’ alter ego “Michael Green” months after he claimed to have stopped using the name. “Michael Green” was apparently on a cruise of the Caribbean with his internet marketing friends — at the same time that Shapps was missing from a crucial vote attended by nearly all other Tory MPs.
Business coach Nicola Cairncross wrote of [now removed, screenshot here] her time on a January 2009 “networking and schmoozing” cruise of the Caribbean with other online promotion speialists – billed as “Internet Marketers Gone Wild”:
“the Internet Marketers Cruise in the Caribbean which was an absolute blast! … I got to go to a private cocktail party in Jennie Armato’s stateroom and hang out with Mike Filsaime, Michael Green and Robert G Allen among others.”
While he admits using the name Michael Green, Shapps insists to have had nothing to do with the company or this nom de plume after he transferred ownership of How To Corp Ltd to his wife in the summer of 2008.
But at the same time the cruise took place, Michael Green’s sometime alter ego (Grant Shapps) missed a crucial vote on a policy area for which he was a shadow minister. The Tories wrecking amendment to the Business Rate Supplement Bill was moved in the name of David Cameron and was subject to a three line whip — meaning that Shapps was one of just nine Tory MPs (of 167) who didn’t to vote in the division.
Despite having asked a slew of questions on business rates the previous year, Shapps failed to turn up to anything in Westminster until he finally voted on 20 January. Speaking to Scrapbook moments ago, Tory HQ strongly denied Shapps attended the cruise and are currently attempting to ascertain where he was during this period.
We’ll bring you more as we get it.
UPDATE: CCHQ have strongly denied that Shapps was on the cruise:
“This is absolutely and categorically untrue. Grant has never, ever been on an internet marketing cruise. At the time he was on various parliamentary engagements in the UK which we have a complete record of.”
Tory sources have pointed to claims made by Nicola Cairncross on Twitter today that she is “Not great with names at best of times [sic]“ — so who exactly was the “charming” Michael Green she claims she has met in a published e-book?