Peter Duttons from around the world have distanced themselves from the Australian MP who shares their name, as the former immigration minister mounted another leadership challenge to prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.
It’s a common occurrence for the Duttons – who have previously received online abuse for the MP’s comments on immigration, his record as a minister, and a 2016 incident where he called a female journalist “a fucking mad witch”.
Dutton, the Australian politician, has the Twitter handle @PeterDutton_MP. Other users around the world have @Peterdutton, @peter_dutton, @PeterDutton5 and @PeterDutton81.
On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, as Dutton mounted a failed challenge and agitated for another, the Duttons moved to clear themselves again.
Professor Peter Dutton, an American academic who specialises in maritime law, reacted with faux-surprise to a tweet that called him a “shit”.
He sympathised with another frequently mistaken Dutton, who is a New York resident.
In May last year, the New York Dutton told everyone he had not been to Australia for 20 years, and begged to be left alone.
Professor Dutton has previously described the Australian Dutton as “truly Trump-like” and told Australians he was sorry we were “burdened with such a politician”.
Another Dutton, who owns a popcorn company, was more straight to the point, and was soon proclaimed “the most popular Peter Dutton in Australia”.
An English Peter Dutton from the town of Horsham, who was mistaken for the politician in 2015, has not yet tweeted about a resurgence.
The English Dutton, who is a school organist, instead spent the past few days livetweeting the England v India test cricket match.
Despite the clarifications, many of the Duttons continued to receive tweets and messages over the week.
But some Australians said they preferred any of the other Duttons to the real thing.
And the MP himself, back in 2014, apologised to his doppelgangers for the confusion.