Grant Shapps to face real Michael Green
Grant Shapps to face real Michael GreenGetty

Conservative candidate Grant Shapps is being challenged in his own seat by a rival named Michael Green - the alias which embarrassed Shapps in a second-job controversy.

The prank was dreamed up by a left-wing website and now the real Michael Green is seeking donations to fund what he admits is a "joke" admission to the election race.

Shapps was left red-faced after it emerged he called himself "Michael Green" at his internet marketing company. After denying using the nom-de-plume while a MP, it was revealed that he had in fact done so in 2006.

The real Michael Green admitted he wanted to get at Shapps, saying: "I've decided to embarrass him by standing against him in his own constituency. That's right: his secret pseudonym will be joining him on the ballot paper.

"This is not a joke. Okay. It is a joke, but I am still taking on Shapps in his own back yard."

Shapps has represented the Welwyn Hatfied constituency since 2005, a seat in Hertfordshire which has swung between Labour and Conservative control.

"I'd love to see the look on Grant Shapps' face when he finds out what we've done," said Laurence Durnan, the editor of Political Scrapbook, where the idea originated.