Political commentator and journalist Darren Grimes was trending on Twitter not long ago, after an alleged nickname he was given at school was circulated online. So who is he and what does he do?
Who is Darren Grimes?
Darren Grimes is a journalist and conservative commentator who hosts the podcast Reasoned UK. He's been a guest commentator for the likes of Talk Radio, GB News, Sky News and BBC Politics, among others.
He was born in County-Durham and was a Liberal Democrat activist during his days at the University of Brighton. After dropping out of university, he worked for several Brexit campaigns.
In 2016, at the age of 22, he ran the EU referendum campaign BeLeave. After the campaign, he was fined £20,000 by the Electoral Commission due to evidence that the BeLeave campaign had broken campaign spending rules in collaboration with the official Vote Leave campaign.
Both Grimes and Vote Leave appealed the verdicts. Vote Leave later withdrew their appeal, but Grimes was successful, resulting in the fine being withdrawn and the Electoral Commission paying his legal fees.
In 2019, Grimes was listed as one of LBC's leading conservative influencers.
In 2020, he was almost arrested by the Met Police because of slavery comments that were made during an interview he did with historian David Starkey on the Reasoned UK podcast. The case was dropped, but the incident made national headlines.
Grimes has nearly 160,000 followers on Twitter. His username is @darrengrimes_.
Why was Darren Grimes trending on Twitter?
In July 2021, an anonymous Twitter user claimed his cousin went to school with Darren Grimes and shared a nasty nickname Grimes was given.
The Twitter user went on to post screenshots of what he claimed were DMs from Grimes, which demand the said tweet is taken down and threatening legal action while the Twitter user sends mocking responses.
Grimes denied sending the DMs and claims the screenshots shared on social media are not genuine.
On Wednesday (14 July), he tweeted a message to the account who shared the screenshots, writing: "You're sharing fake messages and doing so gleefully, even reposting them in attempt to bully someone (I assume) you disagree with politically."
This being social media, many people have jumped on the bandwagon against Grimes, but some have pointed out that this amounts to online bullying.
One user said: "Dislike the man a lot. But this is bullying of the highest order."
Grimes retweeted a tweet from a trainee counsellor, who wrote: "I hope Darren Grimes has been supported while this juvenile, malicious bullying has been going on, and I hope the supposedly progressive people behind it can take a look in the mirror at some point."
If you've been impacted by online bullying, you can the Mind Infoline on 0300 123 3393 or visit the website for guidance and support.