The BBC is reporting that London's mayor, Boris Johnson, has transferred the public @mayoroflondon Twitter account into his own name to support his re-election campaign on the first day of the mayoral election campaign, which netted him over 253,000 followers from the account in the process. In addition to making the handle swap, Johnson replaced the account's link to the official city hall website with his own campaign website. If this strikes you as outrageous, you're not alone: as a result of the swap, the UK's Labour party has made an official complaint to the Greater London Authority (GLA).
Day 1 of official election period! No City Hall resources in use, so all Tweets until 3 May are from my phone or @BackBoris2012 team.— Boris Johnson (@borisjohnson) March 20, 2012
Some members of the opposition party claim that the Twitter account was established by the GLA and belongs to the mayor's office, and that it's been maintained by GLA resources — so running a personal campaign from the account would seem out of the question. The BBC reports that according to the Electoral Commission, there are no specific rules relating to the re-branding of Twitter accounts or the inheritance of followers, but that that any money spent on the account from now on would have to be published in Johnson's campaign expenses. Johnson has since tweeted from the campaign trail, but says that the @borisjohnson account (formerly the @mayoroflondon account) will only be used for discussing mayoral duties — which apparently include promoting his campaign.