General Election 2019: Conservative 'fake newspaper' compared to 'factcheckUK'

PUBLISHED: 13:11 25 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:11 25 November 2019

Conservative election material. Picture: Dr Martyn Cutmore

Conservative election material. Picture: Dr Martyn Cutmore

Archant

Tory election materials put through East Devon doors have been made to look like a newspaper, with one resident saying he thought it was a council publication.

Conservative election material. Picture: Dr Martyn CutmoreConservative election material. Picture: Dr Martyn Cutmore

The booklet is titled 'East Devon Future' and although it appears to have the imprints required by electoral law, the party's name is not prominently displayed on the front.

Conservative HQ came under fire last week for changing its Twitter branding to 'factcheckUK' during the ITV leaders' debate.

Dr Martyn Cutmore, who lives in Sidmouth, said the 'fake newspaper' arrived at his address on Monday (November 25) and likened it to the Twitter controversy.

Dr Cutmore said he initially thought it was a publication by the district council.

Conservative election material. Picture: Dr Martyn CutmoreConservative election material. Picture: Dr Martyn Cutmore

"It's not what I would call fair electioneering practices," he said.

"If you study it minutely you might find in 1mm-high white-on-red background details of the provenance.

"The reader is not intended to find this without careful scrutiny and most people will accept this document on face value as an official East Devon communication."

He said it is misleading and described it as going 'under the radar'.

A Conservative Party spokesman said: "This type of literature is commonly used by parties up and down the country and meets all the relevant laws and guidelines.

"It's a useful way to highlight our excellent East Devon candidate, Simon Jupp, and update local residents on our plans to get Brexit done and focus on people's priorities like the NHS, schools and policing."

The material features articles by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and East Devon Conservative candidate Simon Jupp.

An East Devon District Council spokesman said: "As far as we can tell from the copy we have seen there is an imprint explaining who the document is printed and published by, so it is for recipients to make their own judgement on the document.

"It does not appear to contravene electoral requirements and is not an official East Devon District Council document."

The full list of East Devon Parlimentary Candidates is: Peter Faithfull (Independent), Henry Gent (Green Party), Simon Jupp (The Conservative Party), Eleanor Rylance (Liberal Democrats - To stop Brexit) Dan Wilson (The Labour Party candidate) and Claire Wright (Independent).

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