MP explains Christmas single mix-up
A Liberal Democrat MP has been forced to deny he was releasing a Christmas single after local journalists failed to spot a press release he issued was a spoof.
Don Foster, the party spokesman for culture, media and sport, sent out an email to reporters entitled "Bath MP plots late charge for Christmas No 1", claiming the North Somerset MP was "releasing his first solo record in an attempt to gain the coveted top spot in the singles chart this Christmas".
It went on to claim the MP would release a number showing off his skills on the ukulele after being inspired by Sir Cliff Richard's comments this week that "X Factor had killed the Christmas Number 1" and by Rage Against The Machine's bid to pip The X Factor to the Christmas 2010 top spot.
But some journalists failed to spot that it was a spoof despite the inclusion of a quote from "Kris Kringle, of Ukulele Maestro Magazine".
His office later issued a statement saying: "Following the alarmingly large amount of calls to the office this morning asking for more information about Don's Christmas single, I regret to inform you that Don will not be releasing a Christmas single - for this year at least!!
"This was a spoof press release, doubling up as an invite to a Christmas party Don is hosting at the constituency office for local press and the local Lib Dem council group.
"Although encouraged by the incredibly positive response he has received, Don has no immediate plans to move into the professional music industry."
Mr Foster, 64, has been the MP for Bath since the 1992 general election, when he beat the then Conservative Party chairman and later last Governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten.