Norwich MP Clive Lewis asks lawyers to identify who was behind leadership bid websites
PUBLISHED: 13:41 27 February 2017 | UPDATED: 13:41 27 February 2017
Archant Norfolk 2017
Norwich MP Clive Lewis has instructed lawyers to identify who set up four websites which suggest he is poised to launch a leadership bid.
The former shadow business secretary claimed he had attracted some unwanted attention, as he questioned the motivation for setting up the domain names.
The Huffington Post UK revealed four domain names, which appeared to support Mr Lewis for Labour leader, were registered on June 29, two days after he was appointed to Jeremy Corbyn’s top team as shadow defence secretary.
The website addresses were: cliveforleader.co.uk, cliveforleader.org.uk, cliveforlabour.co.uk and cliveforlabour.org.uk, and according to the Huffington Post were registered to “Clive Lewis”.
Mr Lewis said that while he believed the registered user would have to provide an address for verification, it would not have been difficult to find his location. He insisted again that he was not plotting to replace leader Jeremy Corbyn.
“I reluctantly accepted a role in the shadow cabinet. I thought I was out of my depth. It [the website creation] was two days later, in the middle of a leadership coup in which I was backing Jeremy Corbyn. No it wasn’t happening.”
When questioned by the Huffington Post about the websites, the Norwich South MP initially referred to an Lyndon B Johnson [LBJ] quote about forcing opponent to deny untruths.
He said: “The reason I used the LBJ quote was that someone has done this to make me deny it. What is more interesting is who the source of the allegation is, and what their motivation is. That is far more interesting I think.”
“It has become increasingly clear I have attracted some unwanted attention, which would be flattering if it wasn’t so negative in its connotations.”
He acknowledged the websites could have been “a random person looking to make a quick buck”.
“If they are, they could be waiting a long time. It expires in June so you will all know if it was true or not.
“It happened to Lisa Nandy previously. I think what you can do, I am told by people in the know, you can use my name and you have to verify it. It is not difficult to find my name and address and put it on.
“I have instructed a solicitor to go away and look at this. They can try and make sure we find the identity, the IP address and the payment details.”
Mr Lewis joked: “If it turns out to be my mum then I am in trouble!”
“It could be a teenager who thought it would be a laugh. But the fact I have having to deny this, that was the intention.”