A personal trainer has unmasked himself as the man behind the popular Twitter account The Secret Tory.
Henry Morris, revealed that he has been running the parody account that has amassed nearly 200,000 followers since it started in 2019.
People had previously speculated that the person behind the account was a high-profile comedian or a real-life MP, but Morris is a personal trainer and ultra marathon runner from Yorkshire, who now lives in Wales.
Morris puts on amateur Shakespeare productions every year, is behind the Field Maneuvers [sic] rave in Norfolk and is a campaigner to end raptor persecution on grouse moors with Chris Packham’s Wild Justice group..
He said he started the account to poke fun at Mark Francois at the height of Brexit, and after it took off he couldn’t believe the amount of support he received.
He had faith that if he could make people laugh it would be popular, but not to the extent that it reached.
The video revealing Morris’s identity features parodies of Michael Gove and Jacob Rees-Mogg, among other Conservative figures.
Morris’s real Twitter account, which is locked, says he is ‘running 250km in the Cairngorms to highlight golden eagle persecution’.
He told the BBC: ‘It took on a life of its own almost immediately, I remember people in the gym laughing about the account without knowing it was me, and it was very nice to have my hunch confirmed that I could make people laugh.’
The satirical account, which is staunchly anti-Conservative, gained prominence when Brexit was dominating the headlines prior to the UK’s exit from the EU.
It started life named Mark ne Francois pas, a reference to Conservative MP Mark Francois, later changing its name to Michael Govern Ready (alluding to Michael Gove and the oven-ready Brexit deal) before ultimately becoming The Secret Tory.
He said:’Other people discover they’re good at things like ballet or darts. Turns out I’m very good at pretending to be a Tory MP.
‘I have loved the wind-up, but I reckon its time to let people know who I really am. And anyway, I’m sure an AI will be able to do all this in a few weeks anyway.’
Last year he released a book – The Diary of a Secret Tory MP: (Almost!) True Stories from the Heart of British Politics – which was endorsed by the Times columnist Caitlin Moran and the LBC presenter James O’Brien.
However, despite the use of the term MP in the book’s title and the account’s Twitter biography, Morris is not and never has been a member of parliament for any party.
Over time, the tone of the Twitter account has changed. Morris said he started ‘going on the attack rather than just playing the jester’.
He said: ‘The problem with that was, if people come for you to be funny, and you’re being angry, it doesn’t work.
‘People are forever telling me they preferred it when I was doing jokes about Mark ne-Francois-pas’ mock-Tudor carport and breakfasts of Sugar Puffs made with a can of Monster. I hope I’ve got the balance better now, but who knows?’
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