Labour MP McCarthy in soup over Twitter fiasco

"My mistake - hands up!"

Labour MP Kerry McCarthy could face a £5,000 fine or imprisonment of up to six months after she accidentally revealed the results of postal votes on Twitter on Wednesday.

McCarthy, from Bristol East constituency, is in charge of the party's new media campaigns for the General Election due in May.

When users of the micrblogging site pointed out that she may be guilty of breaking the law under Section 66A of the Representation of the People Act, she deleted the tweet, saying: "My mistake - hands up!"

While postal votes can be opened before polling day in the presence of candidates and their agents, it is illegal to reveal their contents before polls as this could influence the result.

The Bristol City Council confirmed on Wednesday that the matter has been reported to the police.