Devon MP defies Tory Twitter ban
A Westcountry Conservative MP has hit back at being warned against criticising the party on social media site Twitter.
Sarah Wollaston, Conservative MP for Totnes, took to Twitter on Sunday to raise concerns that David Cameron's "inner circle still look far too posh, male & white" and is unreflective of modern Britain.
At a meeting with new Tory general election guru Lynton Crosby this week, backbenchers are to be told to remember that they are "participants not commentators".
But within hours of a story appearing online, Dr Wollaston defied the Twitter ban and criticised the edict.
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She first wrote: "I feel a comment coming on #lynton."
She later added: "I cannot 'participate' without the freedom to 'comment', even if that is sometimes inconvenient to the Executive."
Before the reaction, a senior Conservative source told MailOnline: "There is increasing frustration and annoyance at MPs who are giving a running commentary on Twitter. It is fair to say that the issue is being addressed."
In recent weeks, criticism has been increasingly loud on Twitter, particularly after finishing third behind the UK Independence Party at the Eastleigh by-election.
Ex-Tory whip Michael Fabricant said that many of the policies trumpeted by UKIP were Tory ideas but said voters did not realise this "because of mixed messaging".
Mr Cameron won backbench praise for promising an in-out referendum on the European Union, but several MPs felt he did not go far enough.
Mark Pritchard, MP for The Wrekin, tweeted the Prime Minister was "catching up with Tory backbenchers" and the change of mind "could have been earlier".
Full story in tomorrow's Western Morning News