A social network founded by former Tory MP Louise Mensch and an ex-Labour activist who defected to the Conservatives, Luke Bozier, has folded after he reportedly refused to resign from the company in the wake of sex crime allegations.
Menshn, a topic-based rival to Twitter focusing on politics, was launched in July 2012. Mensch resigned as an MP two months later, in order to live with her husband in America.
Since the site launched, Bozier has been arrested and bailed on suspicion of viewing or possessing indecent images of children, after his website was hacked and alleged personal emails and pictures posted online.
Louise Mensch has closed her social networking venture Menshn
After Bozier was arrested, Mensch wrote on Twitter: "[I] saw this story yesterday with great shock and sadness and immediately filed a report with the police. He resigned from company … We are no longer in business together.”
But Bozier claimed on Wednesday that he had not resigned from Menshn, and refused to relinquish his 50% stake in the company, resulting in Mensch deciding to close the venture.
In a piece posted on his blog, Bozier said: "It was widely publicised in the days following the hacking of my private email account that I had resigned from menshn, the company I founded and co-own with Louise Mensch.
"It wasn’t the case that I had resigned as a shareholder, and continue to retain my 50% of the shares in MenschBozier Ltd. However, Louise and I no longer have anything resembling a working relationship, and she no longer wishes to run a company in which I own shares.
"I think we call this sort of business practice summary justice. Louise is judge, jury and god all rolled into one, and made a sweeping knee-jerk business decision.
"I had a great time building and launching menshn, despite the mountain-sized buckets of cyber-shit I got for my association with Louise. It was a great experience and some elements of the journey were really fun. I have written about some of them as part of a book on release later in 2013.
"Menshn still has a dedicated community of users, and I thank them for their dedication. I’m sorry we weren’t able to turn it into something more sustainable. The idea – Twitter for topics – is a sound one and will be done very successfully by somebody else one day."
Before Menshn, Bozier was a social media consultant who claimed to have worked for Tony Blair, but defected to join the Conservative Party, saying in a statement at the time: "Labour has a vacuum of policy and a vacuum of vision.
"Even if Ed Miliband had a policy and a vision, he is clearly unable to communicate it or connect with the electorate in any meaningful way.
"The Labour Party today is not the Labour Party I joined six years ago when Tony Blair was leader."