In the world of social media it’s not always immediately clear which Twitter accounts belong to genuine celebrities or politicians and which are spoofs.
Dr Philippa Whitford is by no means the first elected member to confuse a fake tweet for the real thing.
But the SNP health spokeswoman at Westminster attracted derision today for attacking Labour based on a message apparently posted in 2015 by Yvette Cooper, the former shadow home secretary.
The MP for Central Ayrshire shared a screengrab of a tweet that read: “We as a party need to convince Scotland it is still a valuable part of England. This is the only way we’ll defeat the SNP.”
Dr Whitford said in response: “Wow! Freudian slip shows exactly what Labour thinks of Scotland! #NOTpartofEngland”
The problem was the tweet was not posted by Ms Cooper and is a spoof which has done the rounds on Twitter for more than two years.
As far back as May 2015, SNP MSP Roseanna Cunningham shared the same screengrab only to quickly delete it and apologise. “That Yvette Cooper tweet? Turns out it’s a parody account. Sorry folks. Ignore it,” she said at the time.
Numerous other Twitter users were quick to point out Dr Whitford’s error.
“You have been told this is a parody account yet you haven’t deleted your tweet. Please do so and apologise,” said Joe Cullinane.
Dr Philippa Whitford later deleted the tweet.
She said: “I have apologised unreservedly to Yvette Cooper for tweeting a twitter account which I failed to spot was a spoof.”