Fiona Mactaggart does not regret Comic Relief tweet which cost her more than £14,000

From the Slough Observer:

AN MP has insisted she does not regret a tweet which left her more than £14,000 out of pocket after she pledged to donate £1 to Comic Relief for every retweet she received on Twitter.

Slough MP Fiona Mactaggart handed over £14,268 to the charity after she tweeted on Friday she would donate £1 for every person who retweeted her message in the next 35 minutes.

It was retweeted 14,268 times on the social networking site by 9pm, but despite the millionaire MP later tweeting it was ‘naive’ she said she does not regret it.

Ms Mactaggart, speaking to The Midweek on Monday, said: “I had planned to give Comic Relief £10,000 and thought that budget would be sufficient.

“But that was a risk I took. Part of Comic Relief is doing things beyond your comfort zone. I don’t regret it at all.”

She wrote out a cheque to the charity on Saturday.

Ms Mactaggart tweeted from her @fionamacmp account at 8.25pm on Friday: “I will give £1.00 to Comic relief for every retweet of this message before 9pm.”

The MP, who had around 1,600 followers at the time, later tweeted: “Ok stop now I owe comic relief £14,268. Phew! Cheque soon if you don’t believe me check with comic relief.”

The tweet sparked a flurry of feedback with some Twitter users accusing the MP of doing it for self-publicity and saying she would claim the money back on her expenses.

Ms Mactaggart said the initial negative feedback was depressing and said Twitter is “full of trolls”, but added: “The reaction has been more positive recently because I did follow through with the donation. I didn’t do it for publicity.”

She was later asked by a Twitter user if she could afford it and tweeted: “I think but I am twitter naive thank you all for being so generous for me!”

She also added people on higher incomes will give more money to charity in proportion to people who donate and have no money.

This year’s Red Nose Day has raised more than £75m for charity.

l Friday night also saw the return of Slough’s own David Brent. The nation’s favourite boss – from BBC show The Office, set in Slough – starred in a sketch alongside rapper and comic Doc Brown.

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