Lib Dems fear they were targeted by Grindr honeytrap plot

The Lib Dems fear they may have been targeted by the so-called Westminster ‘honeytrap plot’, as multiple MPs admit to being targeted in the crude cyber campaign.

Following revelations last week that senior Tory MP Will Wragg handed out colleagues’ phone numbers after sending lewd photographs on the gay dating app Grindr, multiple Lib Dem members now claim they were targeted during their party’s Bournemouth conference last year.

Attendees of the conference have revealed to the Express they were messaged by an account on the app, posing as a man in his late 20s who asked at least six activists for political intelligence about MPs.

Unlike Mr Wragg, however, many saw through the advances of the account, with one sleuth-like LibDem member discovering that while the conference was taking place on the south coast, the account was in fact sending messages from North London.

At least six conference attendees received messages from the account, which began by asking “flirty questions” before requesting “salacious gossip” about the conference, MPs and Lords.

One such question was “What’s the worst thing you’ve heard an MP has done”.

Other messages included requests for intimate photos of MPs, and claims he wanted to have sex with MPs and well-known individuals in politics including journalists.

One member has now revealed that “at least five gay men” received messages from the same account on September 23 last year, with some of those individuals receiving fourth messages up to three months later.

The account was later deleted, however screenshots from two recipients seen by this paper confirm the account sending the messages was the same.

Unlike Mr Wragg, who engaged with the advances of a mysterious individual, the young LIbDem members quickly worked out that the account was unlikely to be a journalist without breaching media rules, and was more likely to be a honeytrap or malicious individual.

While concerns about the approaches were shared between members and some journalists at the time, no further action or reports to the official party machinery were made.

However last week’s reports about a more concerning intelligence aspect to the row has caused some of those approached by the Grindr account to question whether it was part of the same honeytrap plot.

The Grindr account, which was still sending messages as recently as February this year, presented as a 28-year-old male, looking for chats, friends and ‘hook-ups’.

One recipient of the messages said they could see “why Wragg would have felt his ego stroked by the account, but also it was a very obvious catfish”.

Responding to the evidence, a LibDem spokesman said: “Anyone who suspects malicious online behaviour should report it to the police”.

Sir Ed Davey said last week that the scandal is “a very serious matter” and said there are “wider implications for MPs from all parties to make sure they are secure”.

“I think MPs need extra support to make sure that the security threats that we’re seeing are dealt with properly.”

This morning, a former minister became the first woman to claim she was targeted by the sexting honeytrap campaign.

Dame Andrea Jenkyns is the third Conservative MP to go public about being contacted, demanding that action be taken against Mr Wragg and accusing him of “unforgivable” behaviour.

SOURCE

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