Bans, hidden comments and fake profiles: Inside the murky world of MP Nick Fletcher's social media
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The Don Valley MP has already come under fire in recent months for hitting out at members of the public, demanding they respect him or face being banned from his Facebook and X, formerly Twitter, pages.
The Free Press has been contacted by a number of angry constituents who say they have been banned from the MP’s Facebook page, simply for asking questions or having an opposing point of view to the Tory MP.
We have also been made aware of critical comments from users being hidden on the page – as well as fake profiles being used to sing his praises or used to hit out at critics.
And the Free Press has also investigated another Facebook page, used to promote Mr Fletcher’s work to save Doncaster Sheffield Airport and which is also highly critical of Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones, South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard and Doncaster Labour MPs Ed Miliband and Dame Rosie Winterton.
It comes as Mayor Jones warned about “misinformation and untruths” being shared online around the fight to re-open the airport.
Rob Hadfield, who contacted the MP via email to complain about the MP’s recent use of a “fake newspaper” to spread news of his policies, said: “He's blocked me from his Twitter and Facebook pages. I've never been rude or disrespectful, he simply blocks anyone – the people he works for - that questions any statement he makes.
"He blocked me on Twitter for pointing out that San Francisco tech workers going back to the office was not a good enough example that Doncaster should follow suit.
"He blocked me on Facebook when I questioned why he hadn't replied to my email.
"Everyone I know is blocked by him - any question, disagreement or fact check is an immediate block. He only has time for people nodding.”
Business owner Mark Chadwick has also clashed on the MP’s Facebook page – although the responses are understood not to come from the MP himself and it comes after a recent exchange where Mr Fletcher took exception to being called “old lad.” by the garage owner.
Mr Fletcher is reported to pay thousands of pounds each year for a social media and speech writing team, which is understood to be led by Doncaster lawyer and personal friend, Andrew Isaacs.
Mr Chadwick, who runs a rival Save Doncaster Airport group to the one investigated by the Free Press, clashed on the MP’s Facebook page - when Mr Fletcher accused the garage owner of blocking HIM.
A post on the MP’s page said: “I note that I still remain blocked from the airport group that you control, even though I am the MP for the airport. I find this astonishing. Whilst you say I remain a member, you have set up controls to prevent me even viewing the group.”
An angry Mr Chadwick responded: “The profile for Nick Fletcher MP is not blocked and does not have any restrictions against it. The profile that I believe runs the page for Nick, a certain Mr Andrew Isaacs is blocked, because he was posting a link to another group that I was unable to see and therfore unable to validate.
"How many people have you and your team blocked from viewing your page, how many people are blocked from your Twitter account, how many people who send in emails do not get a reply or get no help from you because they question you about your actions?
“How many people do you have on your team that hassle and troll individuals? You sent me a post about respect, its time you and your social media team read that post yourselves and abide by its mantra, respect is earned not given.”
In a recent message, the Don Valley MP said that while he doesn't “want control over people” and “supports free speech 100%” he has said “there are limits” and set out a series of rules for constituents to follow.
Posting on Facebook, Mr Fletcher said: “One important rule in life is respect. We should all treat each other as we would like to be treated. That never had to be said as it was understood. Sadly that now needs to be said.
“I have always had comments on my posts that are clearly antagonistic to me as a Conservative MP. I have tolerated that but there are limits.
“I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. I’m not a socialist. I don’t expect or want control over people. I for one support free speech 100% but there are boundaries on this “platform” and called for “respect for others including myself, no profanity, no expletive deleted like ***, no threatening language, no trolling.”
Shortly after introducing his guidelines, he accused a woman who contacted him with concerns over access to NHS dentists in Doncaster of trolling and told her: “I hope you won't do that again.”
Meanwhile, the Free Press has also investigated the Save DSA Facebook page which has been highly supportive of Mr Fletcher and massively critical about Labour efforts to save the airport and which has shared numerous, sensitive documents regarding financial matters surrounding its future.
South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard has repeatedly come under fire on the page, along with other Labour politicians.
Users have questioned where the information on the page is coming from and have repeatedly asked for details about the person running the account.
The administrator has repeatedly said on the page that they do not know Mr Fletcher personally and have never met or spoken to him.
The Free Press has repeatedly tried to make contact with the page to verify the information and documents shared on it, without success.
And in another bizarre move, a fake Twitter account in the name of Free Press reporter Darren Burke, under the name ‘DarrenBurkeDFP’ has been set up to “highlight the political bias of the Doncaster Free Press reporter.”
It is not clear who is behind the account which is not connected to the Free Press or Darren, whose verified handle on X is @DarrenBurkeSYN.
We have also contacted Mr Fletcher and Mr Isaacs for comment.