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Politician pays £14,268 to charity after retweet pledge takes off


At least one politician seems to be smarting after a retweet pledge stuck her with a sizable donation to charity.

Fiona Mactaggart, Labour Member of Parliament for Slough in Berkshire, England, pledged to give £1 to charity for every retweet she received in 35 minutes. She was left with a bill of £14,268 ($21,551).

For what it's worth, the RT figure is now higher, even if it means Mactaggart won't donate any more of her cash.

"It was spur of the moment. I had planned to give all day but doing it that way was spur of the moment," she told Agence France-Presse. "When I was a teacher, before I was an MP, I taught for the whole day dressed up as a chicken, and got sponsored for Red Nose Day."

Red Nose Day is a biennial telethon in aid of Comic Relief, a charity that aids poor and vulnerable people around the world. This year's event has generated over £75 million thus far.

Mactaggart's sizable donation certainly helped, and being the daughter of a late, multi-millionaire property developer means she isn't in debt.

"I don't think many politicians can afford to do what I did," Mactaggart, who is not currently planning any other Twitter pledges, told AFP.

While she expected to be handing over around £10,000, she probably didn't plan to receive criticism in the wake of the 2009 MP expenses scandal.

She said the retweet campaign was worth the trouble because it led to other users donating. Perhaps a little more satisfying than dressing as a chicken, then.

Photo via @fionamacmp/Twitter

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