Labour MP forgives Web site pranksters

Battle not bitter over impostor Web site that promises lewd pictures of him

John Battle, Labour MP for Leeds West, does not want a group of cheeky Web pranksters to get into trouble, even though they built a fake constituency Web site promising lewd pictures of him.

According to a report in The Independent, the site promised visitors non-existent compromising pictures of the Foreign Office in return for £50. The site, which used Battle's name in its Web address, has now been removed. The delinquents behind this stunt were an unnamed group of Leeds-based artists.

Battle isn't bitter, however. Speaking to ZDNet UK, he described the site as "just some sort of geeky joke", and says that he doesn't want the culprits to get into any more trouble than necessary. "There is the larger problem about domain names," comments a philosophical Battle. "But I don't want them to get a hammering and to be shut down."

Battle also confirmed that, contrary to The Independent report, the police have not been involved.

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