Grant Shapps fake name: Who is Michael Green? Inside get-rich-quick scheme

Dan Walker clashes with Grant Shapps over 'good news'

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Grant Shapps hosted an oral questions session in the House of Commons this morning, in which he answered MPs on his intentions for British transport. The transport secretary role is his latest of several under a Conservative Government, having started as the minister for housing and local government under David Cameron in 2010. His first ministerial tenure ended in 2012 when he attracted controversy for using several pseudonymous identities.

Who is Michael Green?

In 2012, while serving as Conservative party chairman, rumours suggested he had previously used pseudonyms to hold a job outside of Parliament, despite taking his seat for Welwyn Hatfield in 2005.

One of them he denied vociferously at the time was Michael Green, a “multimillion-dollar web marketer”.

He confirmed the identity in 2015 after having dismissed the claims for years.

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The Guardian published an audio recording in 2006, one year after he entered Parliament, of him posing as Mr Green.

In the clip – where he did not explicitly identify himself as Grant Shapps – he spoke to a fellow entrepreneur about his company, named How To Corp, and product “Stinking Rich”.

He founded How To Corp in 2000 and claimed to have handed it over to his wife in 2008.

One of the company’s products was an application, TrafficPaymaster, that created blogs for Google’s algorithm and filled them with content taken from elsewhere.

Another product was a “toolkit” launched under the “20/20 challenge” in 2007 when he was still director.

The toolkit, priced at $497 each, promised to earn customers a hefty $20,000 in just 20 days, provided they followed its instructions.

However, it turned out the touted product was an ebook with a series of instructions to recruit 100 “joint venture partners” who would then agree to sell the customer’s guide for a share of the profits.

How To Corp was ultimately dissolved in 2014, and TrafficPaymaster was no longer on sale as of 2015.

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For some time, Mr Shapps had denied involvement in the company, claiming in February 2015 that he didn’t have a second job and “have never had a second job while being an MP”.

A spokesman for the Conservatives later confirmed that he wrote “with a pen name”.

They said that this was “completely transparent” and included on his website, along with “biographical details”.

The spokesman added while Mr Shapps said his writing career ended when he was an MP, it “in fact” ended “shortly afterwards”.

The transport minister is now under pressure from former MPs who held his role to adopt a host of new road safety rules for the UK.

In a letter sent on Wednesday, February 2, six former transport ministers urged Mr Shapps to adopt new vehicle safety standards due to launch in the EU and Northern Ireland from July.

Those 15 measures would include advanced emergency braking, systems for safer reversing and intelligent speed adaptation.

The cross-party group asked the minister to follow in the bloc’s footsteps, stating it would give the UK “an opportunity to reclaim its position as a world leader in vehicle safety”.

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