Page last updated at 21:02 GMT, Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Web alias councillor criticised

Ben Grower
Ben Grower was filmed at a meeting in 1992

A local Dorset politician who used an alias to praise on himself on a newspaper website should be investigated, a council leader said.

Councillor Ben Grower made comments on the Bournemouth Daily Echo website - under the name Omegaman - praising his own role in several projects.

After the newspaper exposed him he told colleagues he was "having a laugh".

The leader of Bournemouth Borough Council is now calling for an urgent investigation into Mr Grower's conduct.

Stephen MacLoughlin said: "It's the responsibility of all councillors, including me as leader of the council, to raise this with the standards committee and to ask them to investigate and to recommend action as appropriate."

No comment

In one post about plans to build Europe's first artificial surf reef in Boscombe, Mr Grower wrote: "At least two councillors seem to be concerned about this mess. Well done Cllrs Ratcliffe and Grower."

He also praised himself for fighting a housing plan and the expansion of a dentist's surgery.

Mr Grower declined to comment but in an e-mail to his work colleagues admitting he had been writing under aliases for some time.

He said he had never written anything offensive and described his actions as "a good laugh online".

In the e-mail he said: "As far as I am concerned this has and always will be a legitimate means of making comments.

"It is perfectly legitimate to use pseudonyms as indeed many others do."

The Bournemouth Daily Echo newspaper said it exposed Mr Grower because the public should be told when a councillor pretends to be someone else to enhance his own reputation.


Councillor praises himself online

Print Sponsor

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific