Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson has taken to social media to quash a digital rumour claiming he had died

Pendle Conservative Transport Minister Andrew Stephenson was forced to make clear he was still alive after being alerted to the post which said: “I am very sad to announce the sudden passing of a friend. Mr Andrew Stephenson MP has sadly passed away from Colne Lancashire. You will be missed RIP.”

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson
Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson

The post had an added comment allegedly from Pendle Council leader Cllr Mohammed Iqbal which said: “Shocking news.”

Mr Stephenson posted: “Thanks for all the texts but rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

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“I have spoken to Coun. Iqbal and do not believe he has had anything to do with this malicious story.”

Coun. Iqbal posted: “Just seen a despicable announcement allegedly in my name announcing the death of Andrew Stephenson MP. I wish to make it clear I am not the source of this news and it’s not true . I may disagree politically with Andrew but wish him a long and healthy life.

“To the scumbag whose used my name I pray your sick mind gets better.”

Mr Stephenson said: “This is distressing for my family and friends. It’s not very nice.

“Several people contacted me after seeing it.

“This is irritating and has caused me some work but I have had worse on social media including death threats.”

Coun. Iqbal said: “This is a sick and deplorable joke by someone who needs to look in the mirror and seek therapy.

“I spoke to Andrew as soon as I heard about it.”