Chancellor George Osborne joins Twitter and is immediately hit with a wave of abuse
Not content to simply suffer the scrutiny, ranting anger and mischief-making of the House of Commons, George Osborne has used Budget day to join Twitter - and has been immediately hit with a wave of insults.
Like an army of backbench hecklers, Twitter users subjected the Chancellor's new @George_Osborneaccount to a torrent of abuse, despite the fact he has currently posted only one tweet: “Today I'll present a Budget that tackles the economy's problems head on helping those who want to work hard & get on.”
The tweet includes a link to a picture of the Chancellor working at a desk while wearing an open necked white shirt, with the red Budget box sat in front of him.
The profile, which was verified upon launch, claims to be “run by George Osborne and @conservatives team” and hit well over 5,000 followers within 30 minutes of the first tweet.
George Osborne initially followed only nine others Twitter users, including David Cameron and the official Number 10 account, but that number has risen steadily throughout the morning - suggesting he or one of his team is hard at work finding new people to follow.
The negative reaction can't have been entirely unexpected however; this is, of course, the man who elicited pantomime-style booing during an appearance at the London 2012 Olympics.
But, until now, parody accounts such as @Gideon_Osborner, @OsborneDead and @ChancellorEx have had to soak up much of the Twitter-based abuse that would otherwise have been directed at him.
With next year's Budget set to be revealed at 12.30pm today, you can bet @George_Osborne will be receiving Justin Bieber-esque mention levels over the next 48 hours.
As Twitter user @PeteFerg put it: “Big day for @George_Osborne, fielding all that abuse coming his way on Twitter. And he's got a speech to make as well.”
So its in at the deep end for the Chancellor when it comes to social networking. One can't but wonder, however, if by the end of the week he'll be wishing he'd stuck to just running the economy.