There’s a rather strange non-story in The Telegraph today about Sir Keir Starmer’s Wikipedia page being edited to remove references to the fact he is a “millionaire”.
The story reveals that a reference to Starmer being a millionaire “was excised from the online encyclopaedia in the early hours of Tuesday morning from an internet address traced to Northwest London”. Nothing short of chilling Stalinist revisionism.
Politicians wishing to tidy up their Wikipedia pages is hardly new. After all, it was only yesterday that an IP address traced to Parliament made an edit to Shaun Bailey, the Conservative London mayoral candidate, removing an erroneous quotation which suggested Bailey had said he had “bad jobs I am ashamed about”. As it turns out, he never said such a thing, so fair enough.
Six years ago, it was also reported that an edit describing Chuka Umunna as “the UK’s Barack Obama” was created from a computer at his old law firm.
But the Telegraph‘s story omits the fact that Starmer’s Wikipedia page didn’t say he was a millionaire until the early hours of Tuesday morning. An anonymous user added the reference at 00:46, providing no reference or source for the claim.
36 minutes later, the claim was removed. The question of Starmer’s wealth seemed resolved for the rest of the day until the Telegraph‘s story was published online, when the reference was added back in, removed again, and a small “edit war” broke out.
In any event, it was perfectly within the rights of a Starmer sympathiser to delete an entirely unverified (and largely irrelevant) claim added just a few hours before.
The Wikipedia page has since been protected.