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Grant Shapps: Pyramid Schemes, Female Pseudonyms, and 19 Google Blacklists

Grant Shapps is the type of character you wouldn't want to buy a used car from. Shapps business ventures read like a script from Only Fools and Horses. Here is an unedited extract from Wikipedia on the UK's new Home Secretary:

'Shapps founded a web publishing business, How To Corp Limited, with his wife while he was recovering from cancer.[19] The company marketed business publications and software. The existence of at least three people who allegedly provided testimonials for the company has been questioned.[20] Shapps stood down as a director in July 2008; his wife remained as director until the company was dissolved in 2014.[21]

In September 2012, Google blacklisted 19 of the Shapps' business websites for violating rules on copyright infringement related to the web scraping-based TrafficPayMaster software sold by them.[22][23] Shapps's web marketing business's 20/20 Challenge publication also drew criticism. It cost $497 and promised customers earnings of $20,000 in 20 days. Upon purchase, the "toolkit" was revealed to be an ebook, advising the user to create their own toolkit and recruit 100 "Joint Venture Partners" to resell it for a share of the profits.[24][25]

Shapps's use of the names Michael Green, Corinne Stockheath and Sebastian Fox attracted controversy in 2012. He denied having used a pseudonym after entering parliament and, in 2014, threatened legal action against a constituent who had stated on Facebook that he had. In February 2015, he publicly said: "I don't have a second job and have never had a second job while being an MP. End of story."[26]

However, in March 2015, Shapps admitted to having had a second job while being an MP, and practising business under a pseudonym.[27][28] In his admission, he stated that he had "over-firmly denied" having a second job.[29] In March 2015, Dean Archer, the constituent previously threatened with legal action by Shapps, threatened Shapps with legal action.[30][31]

Grant Shapps became British Home Secretary on 19th October 2022 following the resignation of Suella Braverman.

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