Lancashire Police caution 35-year-old over trolling Twitter account

Labour MP John Woodcock was subject to some of the abuse from the Twitter account
Labour MP John Woodcock was subject to some of the abuse from the Twitter account
Have your say

A former senior official in the Mayor of London’s team has resigned after being cautioned for harassment by Lancashire police over abusive messages sent by a Twitter account.

The county’s police probed a Twitter account, created in Penwortham, which was used to send abusive messages to several MPs and a senior staff member at the Lancashire Evening Post.

Greg Taylor, the former Principal Government Relations Officer in the Mayor’s office, is believed to have been interviewed by Lancashire Police in connection with the online messages.

Police confirmed a 35-year-old man from London had been interviewed and now cautioned with harassment over the messages sent.

Employed to foster good relations with MPs, ministers and civil servants, Mr Taylor, who was educated at Clitheroe’s Stonyhurst College according to his since-deleted LinkedIn profile, could not be reached for comment via his office.

A raft of tweets were sent from an account using the twitter handle ‘Eli Naylor’ or ‘@Elithebarraboy’ and the account’s profile picture was a cow standing in a field.

Mr Taylor was suspended by City Hall following the “serious allegations” before subsequently resigning with immediate effect.

When an LEP staff member tweeted her shock after Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered, the account tweeted back: “Aaaaaand it’s all about you. Round of applause to (account name), a real class act”.

But most of the tweets targeted Labour MP John Woodcock, including several falsely accusing the Barrow and Furness MP of going drinking with a paedophile.

In June, one tweet sent said: “Seriously man, I’d quit boozy nights with paedos - you’re not looking well #haggard”

In February, the Eli Naylor account was also used to tweet the same false allegation to now Mayor of London, Mr Khan.

It read: “What abt Labour MPs who spend their free time boozing with paedophiles like @JWoodcockMP?”

Both Mr Taylor’s personal Twitter account and the Eli Naylor account have since been deleted.

A City Hall spokesman said: “These are serious allegations. A member of staff was suspended, pending an investigation, and has subsequently resigned and has left the GLA with immediate effect.”

Over a period of several months, the ‘Eli Naylor’ account attacked Croydon Central Conservative MP Gavin Barwell for his reaction to the death of MP Jo Cox and belittled Labour MPs Hilary Benn over a posted photo.

The writer branded Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski “the stupidest MP in Parliament” and labelled Labour MP Ian Austin a “balloon-headed halfwit”.

Tory MP Phillip Lee was attacked as “arrogant, mean-spirited & stupid” by the ‘Eli Naylor’ account as well as calling Neil Coyle, the Labour MP whose constituency includes City Hall, “a pathetic piece of work”.

Mr Taylor was appointed into his role during Boris Johnson’s time as Mayor of London and has worked as a lead official at City Hall for five years.