Politics

Swedish Model Upset After Her Instagram Selfie Was Used By Sunday Mirror To Bring Down Brooks Newmark

Brooks Newmark MP has quit after sending an, er, “inappropriate picture” in to an undercover journalist. BuzzFeed News has found the picture that lured him in.

1. Update: It appears that the image used by the Sunday Mirror came from a Instagram selfie by Swedish model Malin Sahlén.

It can be found on this website. Clicking through on the option to locate the source links to a now-deleted Followgram URL, which pulls images from a user’s Instagram page.

Malin Sahlén has since told Sweden’s Aftonbladet newspaper that she did not give permission for the picture, which is three years old, to be used.

“I do not want to be exploited in this way and someone has used my image like this feels really awful, both for me and the others involved in this,” she said.

update

A Sunday Times reporter alleges that the account used by the Sunday Mirror pulled in photos from at least one other Twitter user.

Original story below.

6. Conservative MP Brooks Newmark resigned on Saturday night after the Sunday Mirror exposed him for sending “a graphic picture exposing himself” to an undercover journalist posing as a Conservative activist on Twitter.

PA Wire/Press Association Images PA

Newmark, 56, quit as minister for civil society after being told the newspaper had obtained pictures of him “exposing himself while wearing a pair of paisley pyjamas” which sent to a Twitter account in the name of “Sophie Wittams”.

He had also promised to meet up with Wittam, a supposed activist, at Conservative conference and the married father-of-five signed messages to her with a kiss: “Afternoons fairly full with speaking engagements but around late evenings. Promise we’ll meet up though. X”

7. The Twitter account used by “Sophie” has been deleted. However BuzzFeed News understands it was this picture of a young blonde woman that was used to lure in the Conservative MP.

Twitter

This picture was used as the Twitter profile picture of “Sophie Wittams”, supposedly an early 20s Conservative-supporting PR woman in London.

Newmark thought he was messaging this young woman but in reality all his communication was with a journalist using Sophie Wittams as a pseudonym.

8. This was the Twitter bio used on the fake account.

Twitter

9. Several MPs received attention from “Sophie Wittams” over the course of this summer, according to an archive of deleted tweets accessed by BuzzFeed News.

Twitter

10. Sometimes Sophie indulged in light flirting over pictures of dogs.

With @DogsTrust at a micro chipping event in #Dover @Jollyestweets pet store today - chipping helps keep dogs safer

— Charlie Elphicke (@CharlieElphicke)

12. And sometimes there were just outright compliments aimed at the same MPs.

Twitter

In recent months Sophie Wittams tweeted compliments at Conservative MPs including Dan Byles, Charlie Elphicke, Rob Jenrick, Gavin Barwell and Mark Reckless. Only a handful of the politicians replied and there is no suggestion that any MP other than Newmark sent inappropriate sexts or pictures to the account.

13. “Sophie Wittams” even found the time to celebrate Brooks Newmark’s appointment as minister for civil society on her Twitter account.

Twitter

This is the same job Newmark later had to resign as a result of sending inappropriate pictures to Sophie’s Twitter account.

14. If you’re a middle-aged Conservative MP and a young attractive researcher starts taking an interest in you on Twitter, then be careful.

Twitter

It’s probably too good to be true, as this man found out:

@SophieWittams - delighted!

— Brooks Newmark MP (@TweetBrooks)

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Jim Waterson at jim.waterson@buzzfeed.com.
Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Alan White at alan.white@buzzfeed.com.
 
 

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