LONDON – Memo to Prime Minister David Cameron: If you have a thing for high-class call girls, it's best not to advertise the fact on Twitter.
Britain's Conservative leader was caught in an embarrassing social-media gaffe Wednesday when a technology website discovered that his official 10 Downing St. Twitter account was following Carltons of London, which bills itself as "an elite London escort agency" catering to "gentlemen of distinction."
The Register website published a screenshot of the agency's Twitter account, which showed that, of Carltons' 64 followers, one was "UK Prime Minister." A photo of Cameron's smiling face, outside 10 Downing St., appeared below Carltons' picture of a curvaceous model whose own face was partially obscured and entirely beside the point.
Within hours of The Register's report, under the headline "Prime Minister David Cameron in TWITTER HOOKER SHAME," the prime minister's office removed the agency from the list of nearly 370,000 people and organizations that @Number10gov follows on the social network.
Actually, no one here is suggesting that Cameron, a happily married father of three (a fourth child died of a rare medical condition), meant to follow Carltons – at least, not the escort agency. Observers speculated that someone on his staff intended to have him follow the Twitter account of the Carlton Club, an exclusive Conservative watering hole that also catered only to men until just a few years ago. Also, before his move into politics, Cameron was director of corporate affairs for Carlton Television, a now-defunct TV company.
But his compatriots are now having a laugh at yet another apparent social-media blunder by the less-than-techno-savvy leader. Two months ago, Cameron or an aide marked as a "favorite" a tweet that poked fun at Foreign Secretary William Hague.
Last year, appearing before a judge-led investigation into Britain's phone-hacking scandal, former newspaper executive Rebekah Brooks testified that Cameron sent her text messages with the signoff "LOL," thinking it meant "lots of love" rather than "laughing out loud."
It was unclear whether Cameron was LOL at his latest Twitter misstep.