The person behind the Secret Tory Twitter account, which has built up almost 200,000 followers and had a book published last year, has finally revealed their identity.
The parody account, which claimed to be piloted by an “anonymous Conservative MP”, is actually run by a man named Henry Morris, a personal trainer from Yorkshire who lives near Crymych in west Wales.
He launched the account in April 2019, and released his anonymous book – The Diary of a Secret Tory MP: (Almost!) True Stories from the Heart of British Politics – in September 2022.
The account’s big reveal was met with a mixed reaction on Twitter, with many believing it really had been run by a Tory MP, while some theorised a popular comedian had been behind it.
Who is Henry Morris?
Mr Morris is a personal trainer and ultra-marathon runner living in Wales, and as you might have guessed from his account, he is staunchly anti-Tory.
In his free time he puts on amateur Shakespeare productions, runs a party called Field Maneuvers in Norfolk, and is a member of Chris Packham’s Wild Justice campaign group.
He told BBC News: “If people are feeling cheated I’m not a real MP, I’d like to say I’m sorry. But I’m not. It’s got a lot more to do with the behaviour of the people sitting in Westminster, than my skills as a con artist.”
He added: “Other people discover they’re good at things like ballet or darts. Turns out I’m very good at pretending to be a Tory MP.
“I have loved the wind-up, but I reckon it’s time to let people know who I really am. And anyway, I’m sure an AI will be able to do all this in a few weeks.”
How did the Secret Tory account become popular?
Mr Morris started the account with the name “Mark ne Francois pas” and used it to parody Tory MP Mark Francois. It then became “Michael Govern Ready” before eventually transitioning to “The Secret Tory”.
“I inadvertently started parodying Mark Francois at the height of Brexit when I was bored between training clients in my gym,” Mr Morris said.
“It took on a life of its own almost immediately, I remember people in the gym laughing about the account without knowing it was me, and it was very nice to have my hunch confirmed that I could make people laugh.”
The account initially took aim at the Conservatives over Brexit, but has since targeted the party over a wide range of topics, from food poverty to the energy crisis.
The blurb to the Secret Tory book reads: “From Brexit to Covid, parties to pig culling, the Conservative government has lurched from crisis to crisis. With a front-row seat on the, erm, backbenches, the Secret Tory MP has picked up on all the petty rivalries, bad decision-making and scandalous affairs that Whitehall has to offer. And he’s got no qualms about sharing it. All.”
It continues: “Join the mystery MP as he drunk-texts Liz Truss after a crate of WKD, accompanies Jacob Rees-Mogg (and his kids) to picket a foodbank, takes on the French in the ‘Trawler Wars’, and euthanises Rishi Sunak’s dog – and that’s just October.
“The Diary of a Secret Tory MP is an outrageous spoof of the classic political journal that pulls back the Lulu Lytle curtains to expose extraordinary goings-on at Westminster across a tumultuous 12 months.”