Michael Fabricant accused the Labour Party today of preparing a
"desperate dirty tricks campaign" after the discovery that the party has
registered three websites in the name of Michael Howard, Leader of the
They are www.michaelhowardmp.org, www.michaelhowardmp.net and
www.michaelhowardmp.org.uk. In each of these websites the registrant or
"admin organiser" is given as "The Labour Party" with their address
being their HQ in Westminster, London. The contact name of the
registrant is also given and that person is known to work at the Labour
The Conservative Party leader’s official website is
Michael Fabricant, Shadow Minister for Industry and Technology, who
discovered the sites says: "I do not believe the Labour Party have
registered these websites in Mr Howard’s name in order to sell them back
to him. That would be bad enough. I believe the plan was to launch a
dirty tricks campaign. How desperate have they now become.
"By having 3 websites compared to the genuine one, search engines like
Google, would be far more likely to hit on the fake website rather than
the genuine one. What was the Labour Party going to put onto the
Mr Fabricant, MP for Lichfield, said that this "cyber-squatting" was
also in direct contravention of Government policy. "It exposes Labour
as cyber-hypocrites," he said.
He said that when he asked Michael O’Brien, a Department of Trade and
Industry Minister, a Parliamentary Question about cyber-squatting, the
minister condemned the practice.
"Mr O’Brien described the practice as ‘pre-emptive bad-faith
registration’, saying that ‘cyber squatters exploited the
first-come-first-served nature of the domain name registration system to
register as domain names third parties’ trademarks or business names of
famous people as well as variations thereof’. Yet here is the Labour
Party doing it themselves!" Michael says.
There was no immediate response from the Labour Party, but officials
were looking into Mr Fabricant’s claim.