ikTok will be banned from Government devices after security concerns were raised about use of the Chinese-owned app, the Cabinet Office has announced.
An ordered security review by Cabinet Office ministers looked at “the potential vulnerability of Government data from social media apps on devices and risks around how sensitive information could be accessed and used by some platforms”.
The TikTok ban will not apply to personal devices for ministers, Government employees or the public, and Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps has already said he will continue to use TikTok on his personal phone while taking security precautions.
Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the Government and MP accounts using the video-sharing app and the kind of content they post.
– 10 Downing Street
The Cabinet Office said there is currently “limited use” of TikTok within Government and limited need for Government staff to use the app on work devices, but 10 Downing Street does gain a verified TikTok profile.
While it has not posted since July 2022, it has totted up more than 280,000 followers and more than 900,000 likes.
It was first launched when Boris Johnson was prime minister and mostly posted clips of his various trips and Commons speeches.
– Grant Shapps
The Energy Security and Net Zero Secretary boasts more than 14,000 followers on the app, where he mostly posts behind-the-scenes of his day-to-day work and snippets of meetings with significant figures.
Mr Shapps recently posted from his constituency’s career just in Welwyn Hatfield, Hertfordshire, as well as a discussion with his US counterpart, Jennifer Granholm.
One of his more popular videos, which had more than 67,000 views, shows him and a crowd of MPs waiting for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to address Parliament in February.
“So we are all crowded into Westminster Hall and this is the hall of the Commons and the Lords and we are just waiting – there are a lot of familiar faces here, hi Ed,” Mr Shapps says to the camera.
Mr Shapps will continue to use TikTok on his personal phone while taking security precautions.
A spokeswoman said: “Grant has never used TikTok on Government devices and believes security measures, like not sharing location permission, are sensible.
“However, he is concerned that representatives of the people who deliberately choose not to engage with the public on the platforms that they actually use are unlikely to continue to represent these voters for long.”
– Matt Hancock
Matt Hancock has more than 180,000 followers on TikTok and received more than over 1.6 million likes, proving him more successful than his colleagues at acquiring an audience on the app, which is known for its younger demographic.
The former health secretary announced the closure of the Matt Hancock MP app in January after five years, but still posts regularly on TikTok.
He has used the platform to promote his book, Pandemic Diaries, respond questions from members of the public, post videos of him skiing and trying to flip pancakes on Shrove Tuesday in a Union flag apron.
One of his most popular videos, which received 2.9 million views, features him talking about press coverage on a trip to Turkey, where many jokingly speculated the MP for West Suffolk was getting a hair transplant and veneers fitted – two sought-after cosmetic procedures in the country.
“So I just got back to the office to find that a journalist has called to query if I went to Istanbul at the weekend to gain hair transplants and veneers,” Mr Hancock says to the camera.
“No. I did depart to Istanbul at the weekend, but this yarn has no teeth – it’s hair today, gone tomorrow.”
Mr Hancock then laughs to himself before stopping the video, which received more than 200,000 likes.
– Nadine Dorries
The ex-culture secretary posts glimpses of her life as an MP.
She has also posted clips of the Lionesses winning Euro 2022, and clips from the Commonwealth Games, though she has not posted since July 2022.
Ms Dorries has 10,900 followers.
– Jeremy Corbyn
The former activity leader and MP for Islington North mostly posts clips of speeches he has made, at events, protests or in the Commons.
As an MP only, Mr Corbyn’s use of TikTok is not likely to be affected by the ban, but he does gain more than 62,000 followers and more than 400,000 likes on the app.
Recent videos include him speaking at a National Education Union picket line in support of union membership, and demanding a pause to “outsourcing” of the NHS in a speech from Westminster.
– Zarah Sultana
The most popular MP on the app is activity’s Zarah Sultana, 29, MP for Coventry South.
She has more than 440,000 followers and 7.3 million likes.
Ms Sultana mostly posts interviews from her time on BBC Two’s Politics Live, and footage of her speaking in the Commons on issues such as poverty, strikes and her Free School Meals for All Bill.
She recently posted a more personal TikTok from her travels to Kashmir, where she attended a family wedding in February.
Other MPs on the app include the UK’s youngest MP, Nadia Whittome, and Tory MPs Luke Evans and Dehenna Davison.