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EXCLUSIVE: Leaked documents reveal Tory spinners in intensive anti-UKIP media briefings

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has slammed the "shallow" Conservative Party after documents show nasty attacks emanating from Tory HQ

by The Commentator on 27 April 2013 10:06

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New documents seen by The Commentator have brought to light what appears to be a concerted dirty tricks campaign co-ordinated by the Conservative Party.

The briefings appear to have been constructed by the research department at Conservative Campaign HQ (CCHQ), with the documents bearing the names of the authors, confirmed as CCHQ staff, and the company name, "CCHQ".

Over the past week, media outlets have been quick to report negative stories about UKIP candidates standing in the upcoming local elections taking place next Thursday. The source of the stories has now come to light, as it appears that significant resources within the Conservative Party have been committed to dredging up information on UKIP candidates.

In particular, one widely reported story about Karim Ayoubi, the UKIP candidate in the Abington & Phippsville, Northamptonshire, seems to have been pulled from the CCHQ briefings. The story was the picked up by both national and local media outlets. 

The Commentator has so far seen seven documents authored by CCHQ, each revealing that party researchers have spent countless hours trawling through the Facebook and Twitter feeds of UKIP candidates seeking information that might be attractive to national media outlets.

The documents draw attention to the social and political habits of UKIP candidates, claiming that many are either racist or have questionable senses of humour. Oddly, one briefing even draws attention to a young UKIP candidate's dance moves at a black tie event, claiming, "Personal photos of the undergraduate in black tie undermine his bid to become a local politician". 

So far, The Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph (£), The Times (£) and The Sun have all produced stories that appear to be based on these briefing documents. 

   

When asked about the nature of the documents and their origins, a Conservative Party source told The Commentator, "This is a desperate attempt to deflect attention away from the serious questions UKIP must answer about some of their candidates. UKIP should be held to account about the candidates they want to hold public office."

The information used in the documents, however, is all public-domain, leading to concerns that the central UKIP party has neither done the requisite background checks on candidates, nor advised them of how to manage their social media accounts. Responding to questions as to whether UKIP routinely admitted extremists as members, party sources were quick to admit that they have neither the time, nor the resources to vet 1700 candidates.

Responding to the CCHQ document leak, UKIP leader Nigel Farage told The Commentator exclusively, "I am sure that Tory donors will be delighted to learn that their hard earned money is being spent on a research team whose job it is, not to come up with serious policies to get this country back working, but to research gossip, tittle tattle and the dance moves of UKIP candidates. They must be utterly terrified that their shallow approach to government is being seen through by the public.

"If this is the best they can do," Farage said, "then I ask you should we just get rid of the whole lot of them?"

The documents in question date back only as far as April 14th, hinting that the Conservative Party may have been rattled by recent polling figures, deciding at the last minute to enter into negative campaigning. 

Other noteworthy comments written by CCHQ researchers in the documents include: 

"...General attitudes on Facebook might cause local voters some concern. He has liked a variety of distasteful and aggressive pages" and "...controversial comments made by Leicestershire UKIP candidates on social media include Brett Lynes dismissing Parliament as ‘full of wankers'".

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Read more on: ukip, conservatives, conservative party, uk local elections 2013, uk independence party, Nigel Farage, local elections, cchq, the daily mail, daily mail, chris scotton, the sun, the telegraph, the times, facebook, and twitter
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