The Twitter account of the Conservative Campaign Headquarters has come under fire after it rebranded itself as “FactCheckUK” during Tuesday evening’s televised leaders’ debate.
The @CCHQPress page normally carries clear Tory branding and logos and is equally clearly named.
But as Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn went head-to-head on Tuesday, the account renamed itself “FactCheckUK” and minimised any references to Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ).
The account sent a number of tweets during the debate including one declaring Johnson “the clear winner”.
The move drew immediate condemnation from viewers on Twitter, with some branding it “dystopian” and accusing it of “trying to cloak themselves in the guise of independent journalists”.
As the home of the original @FactCheck in the UK we need to point out “factcheckUK” has nothing to do with @Channel4News it is the renamed twitter account of @cchqpress- @Conservatives no political party should be trying to cloak themselves in the guise of independent journalists https://t.co/KprD6ub7eD— Ben de Pear (@bendepear) November 19, 2019
WHOA the CCHQ Press Office Twitter rebranding itself “factcheckUK” for the night is some pretty dystopian shit. pic.twitter.com/kxamS9ge2x— Mikey Smith (@mikeysmith) November 19, 2019
Labour’s David Lammy said the move “shows what disdain this party and his government has for the truth”.
The Conservative Party press office @CCHQPress rebranding themselves as "FactCheckUK" shows what disdain this party and this government has for the truth.— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) November 19, 2019
The Electoral Commission must investigate and punish this blatant attempt to decieve the public. #LeadersDebate #ITVDebate pic.twitter.com/3EWoy636Gl
Things then took a turn for the surreal when a number of celebrities began replicating the account on their own Twitter bios.
Charlie Brooker declared war on “Eastasia”.
We have always been at war with Eastasia.— factcheckUK (@charltonbrooker) November 19, 2019
And Lily Allen couldn’t wait to show off her #NewProfilePic.
More bizarreness soon ensued.
Fact check. Boris Johnson is not telling the truth in this debate.— Conservative Press Office (@RalfLittle) November 19, 2019
Coffee is a soup— FactCheck UK (@HKesvani) November 19, 2019
Fact: Boris Johnson won't reveal how many children he has as he is raising an army of brexit supporting youths to come to your town and close your local firestation— FactCheckUK (@TechnicallyRon) November 19, 2019
Shortly after the debate finished, the account was changed again.
Aaaand they've changed it again pic.twitter.com/wIew1cSWx2— Chris York (@ChrisDYork) November 19, 2019
Back in the studio, Corbyn has dismissed Boris Johnson’s pledge to “get Brexit done” by the end of January as “nonsense”.
In the opening exchanges of the TV debate hosted by ITV, the Prime Minister warned the UK faced more “dither and delay” under a Labour government.
Suck it up snowflake. ❄️❄️❄️ https://t.co/JICnB5H9Iz— Conservative Press nOtffice (@RalfLittle) November 19, 2019
He said a vote for the Conservatives would be a vote to finally “get Brexit done”.
“If you vote for us, we have a deal that is ready to go. Approved by every one of the 635 Conservatives candidates standing at this election,” he said.
“As soon as we can get that deal through Parliament, as we can in the next few weeks, we can get on with the people’s priorities.”
CCHQ and Twitter have been contacted for comment.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.