UK Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative party David Cameron has taken to Twitter, meeting with welcomes and criticism from followers.
Cameron sent his first tweet on Saturday at his party conference, saying, “I’m starting Conference with this new Twitter feed about my role as Conservative Leader. I promise there won’t be ‘too many tweets…’” referring to a comment he famously made in a radio interview.
The Twitter-verified account will be run by Cameron himself along with a team of Conservatives.
So far, @David_Cameron has attracted more than 93,000 followers and, not surprisingly, a number of trolls trying to goad the PM with insults. As the leader of a nation, Cameron’s account is bound to inspire debate among Twitter users, and some have already reached out with questions on the UK government’s policies.
The microblogging network is popular with celebrities hoping to connect with fans, but other figures in the public eye have found it to be a useful outlet. Cameron follows in the footsteps of other noted political figures on Twitter, such as US President Barack Obama, freshly re-elected Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, and Ed Miliband, leader of the UK’s Labour party.
As far as Ireland’s leaders go, it seems Twitter is a way to get to the public’s attention during election time, but it then falls out of use. An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD and President Michael D Higgins both appear to have abandoned their Twitter accounts following their election successes.