The creator of a fake Tory MP Twitter account set up to attack the government over Brexit has been unmasked as a personal trainer for Wales.
Henry Morris has emerged as the person behind The Secret Tory, which has almost 200,000 subscribers and regularly ridicules top Tories.
In recent weeks he has posted messages mocking Rishi Sunak, Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock and taking aim at the party’s record on polluting rivers.
Many users of the social media site were duped by the account and felt that his posts represented the private frustrations of a real Tory MP.
“I could make people laugh”
Mr Morris, from Yorkshire, came out as its true author in a video ridiculing Michael Gove and Jacob Rees-Mogg.
In it, he described his time as head of the account as “amateur ridicule” of what he called the “proto-fascist antics” of conservatives.
In an interview with the BBC, he said: “I inadvertently started parodying Mark Francois at the height of Brexit when I was bored between client workouts at my gym.
“I remember people in the gym laughing at the account not knowing it was me, and it was very nice to have my intuition confirmed that I could make people laugh.
“Other people find they’re good at things like ballet or darts. Turns out I’m pretty good at pretending to be a Conservative MP.
Mr Morris said he was ‘sorry’ if people felt ‘cheated’ upon discovering the account was not the work of a real Tory backbench MP.
He added: ‘It has a lot more to do with the behavior of people sitting in Westminster than it does with my skills as a crook.
‘Mark does not Francois’
The marathoner created the account in 2019 as a dedicated parody of Mr. François, president of the European research group.
He was originally called “Mark ne François pas” and made fun of the dean of the deputies, among other things, for his past in the territorial army.
In 2020, Mr Francois told the BBC he found the stream “actually quite funny” and “thick-skinned” to crack a good-humored joke.
The account later changed its name to Michael Govern Ready, a pun on Mr Johnson’s claims he had secured an ‘oven-ready’ Brexit deal.
He eventually morphed into The Secret Tory and became more overtly aggressive in his political attacks on Tories “rather than just playing the jester”.
Mr Morris admitted that ‘the problem with that is that if people come looking for you to be funny and you’re angry, it doesn’t work’.
“People always tell me they preferred it when I made jokes about Mark ne-François-pas’ fake Tudor carport and Sugar Puffs breakfasts made with a can of Monster. I hope I have a better balance now, but who knows? he added.
Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 1 month, then get a year for just $9 with our exclusive US offer.