Owen Smith just tried to ‘out’ a John McDonnell staffer on Twitter and got the wrong guy

owen smith face palm
Emily Apple

Failed Labour leadership candidate MP Owen Smith isn’t having a very good weekend. He jumped in on a Twitter thread to apparently ‘out’ John McDonnell’s communications chief, James Mills. But Smith got the wrong guy and social media users had a field day.

Well, it’s some Labour bloke called James

Twitter user @James4Labour joined in a conversation about Labour’s policy on Brexit and a second referendum. They tweeted:

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Smith, however, couldn’t help himself. Seemingly believing ‘James’ was Mills, he attempted to ‘out’ him, evidently thinking this was Mills’ anonymous social media profile. It was a cheap dig:

But as @James4Labour was quick to point out:

And Twitter fell about laughing at the failed Labour leadership candidate:

The serious side

But as other people pointed out there is a serious side to what Smith did:

And others pointed out that higher standards of verification should be expected from an MP:

But it seems Smith wasn’t even prepared to offer an apology. @James4Labour contacted him to ask:

Smith responded by calling them a “troll”:

It’s easy to make mistakes and wrongly identify people on Twitter. But no one, let alone an MP, should be publicly trying to expose someone if they’ve chosen to keep their anonymity: especially via hearsay.

Having done so, and then getting the wrong person, the least Smith could do is offer an apology.

At least we can just be thankful he didn’t end up as Labour leader.

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Featured image via Wikimedia/Chris McAndrew and Wikimedia/Alex E. Proimos

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