Lawmaker defends business 'pen name'

Oct. 6, 2012 at 2:15 AM

LONDON, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- A member of the British Parliament said he had nothing to hide when he wrote self-help books as so-called multimillionaire "Michael Green."

Grant Shapps, a Conservative, is under investigation by the Advertising Standards Council, The Daily Telegraph reported. The council has questions about Shapps writing books such as "How To Get Stinking Rich" and operating websites that offered advice for pay in the guise of a man who had made $25 million in business.

Shapps told the Evening Standard he used his pseudonym for business reasons when he attended a conference wearing a "Michael Green" nametag. He compared himself to Rupert Allason, a former Conservative MP who wrote spy stories under the pen name "Nigel West."

"It was a conference joke," Shapps said Friday. "Everyone knew who I was. It was not a secret, never was. Authors using pen names is normal. "Nigel West" is really Rupert Allason and people didn't care."

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