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Eric Pickles: Oh shirt - how my Twitter typo cheered up hundreds of glum lefty tweeters

Eric Pickles gives his daily take on the election campaign for ConHome.

Picture 5 Oh shirt. It all started so quietly, following an overnight stop near Sheffield. I boarded the Leader’s campaign bus, all mine for the day but without David who was in Manchester getting ready for tonight’s debate. I was on my way to a tour of the East Midlands (picture below is supporting Andrew Bridgen in North West Leicestershire).

Having watched the gathering volcanic clouds for a while I decided to see what was happening on Twitter and I spotted an amusing tweet which shows that now famous photo of flunkies opening the door for the supreme leader.  I noted that they were wearing expensive Jermyn Street shirts. Your Chairman, in a moment of vanity to bolster his man of the people image, copied the tweet on, informing all those in tweetland that I bought my shirts in M&S. Sadly in my eagerness I left the R out of shirts. As typos go, this is in the upper ranks. I was alerted to my mistake seconds after pressing the send button by a remarkably calm chum from CCHQ suggesting that I deleted it before anyone noticed. Too late, the Leader’s bus was lost in a black hole of telecommunication coverage.

Oh the ignomy, hundreds of lefty tweeters feeling glum over the campaign so far were brought to life in a surge of happiness for the Chairman of the Conservative Party inadvertently using a vulgar word. Most are unrepeatable on ConservativeHome. The best came from John Prescott who expressed envy at the sponsorship deal that I appeared to have obtained from M&S.

I was faced with a dilemma: should I adopt the Labour bloggers' approach and say that my dog had eaten my Blackberry, that I had been tapped and my account had been hacked by sinister forces or that it was another Eric Pickles bearing an uncanny resemblance to myself? I decided against calling the police and wasting public money. Sometimes the easiest way out is to just admit it was a typo.

I am on my way back to host a ‘Watch’ party at CCHQ and hopefully to link up with some of you before the debate. I am sure David will do well. From my canvassing on the doorstep there is a shift to us, we are seeing Labour and Liberal Democrats come towards us - but there are still a lot of undecideds out there. many of whom will be watching tonight. We have a strong case to make, on the doorstep, on the TV and at the debates.

Do try and join fellow Conservatives and watch this important debate together. Do join in any discussions or programmes after the event. If you decide to tweet, don’t forget to use the hashtag #leadersdebate and most important of all, if you decide to use the word shirt, don’t forget to include the R!

Eric Pickles


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