Page last updated at 16:40 GMT, Monday, 13 July 2009 17:40 UK

Clegg takes over own Twitter name

Nick Clegg
Mr Clegg admitted he would not be "doing it all myself" on Twitter

Lib Dem Leader Nick Clegg has reclaimed a Twitter account in his name from a supporter who had been sending "tweets" on his behalf.

The "micro-blogging" site allows users to keep followers updated with regular messages, but the @nick_clegg profile had been claimed by a fan.

During a social media interview with Reuters, Mr Clegg said the interloper had "very kindly" handed it over.

He admitted "really great people in my office" would help him update it.

Twitter lets its users post short messages online using up to 140 characters.

'Much more gifted'

The person using Mr Clegg's name had been posting regular updates on what the Lib Dem leader was doing.

Mr Clegg praised such social networking sites for bringing people into the political process who might otherwise not take part.

He said he would "very much engage" with the process, but added that people would not want him to spend too much time on Twitter.

You wouldn't want me to tweet all the time
Nick Clegg

He said: "Of course I'll be tweeting. Will I be doing it all myself? No. I'll be quite candid with you.

"I'm not going to pretend I'm that I'm being something I'm not.

"This is obviously something I do with some really great people in my office who are much more gifted at this than I am.

"You wouldn't want me to tweet all the time."

The @nick_clegg profile has attracted over 1,300 followers - some way short of the 1.7m achieved by US President Barack Obama.

A Downing Street account is also maintained on behalf of the prime minister.

In January 2009, the Twitter user who set up the profile @davidcameron to blog announcements from the Conservative leader announced it was shutting down "at the reasonable and very polite request of Tory HQ".

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