deny 'dirty tricks phone campaign' accusations
Conservative parliamentary candidate for Burnham-On-Sea has this
week denied an accusation that a 'dirty tricks phone campaign'
is being run in the Wells constituency ahead of next year's election.
activists are reportedly ringing voters in the Burnham area and
pretending to be calling on behalf of MP Tessa Munt.
to the Daily Mirror, the callers are asking voters if they
want to see David Cameron or Ed Miliband as Prime Minister at
the next election. All the calls appear to come from a Conservative
Party number in Southend.
issue was first featured on Burnham-On-Sea.com's discussion forums
earlier this autumn when two anonymous readers said they'd
received the calls.
Munt said this week: "People here know who their MP is. The
Tory candidate and those in Conservative HQ obviously take people
here for fools. It's an insult to local people's intelligence
and the Tory tricks have backfired."
James Heappey, the Conservative parliamentary candidate, told
Burnham-On-Sea.com: "The allegation is that volunteers working
for me have been telephoning people in the Wells Constituency
and claiming to be doing so on behalf of the MP. I can say categorically
and without hesitation that this is not the case."
Lib Dems claim that these calls came from Southend-on-Sea. Any
volunteers calling on my behalf and there are hundreds
of them would be calling from their own homes here in Somerset
or from my office in Shepton Mallet. In either case, they would
be calling from local dialling codes that would be recognised
by those receiving the calls."
Conservative Party nationally do have a call centre in Southend
and the Lib Dems wrote to the Prime Minister in February to raise
this exact complaint with him. Two weeks later, the Party Chairman,
Grant Shapps, replied on the Prime Ministers behalf to state
that all those working in the call centre are trained to follow
a script and that the script unambiguously refers to me as the
Cleggs staff have not suggested in their most recent attempts
to gain media coverage on this issue that there have been any
new complaints since February nor have they said how many complaints
they had received in the first place. For the record, I have not
received a single complaint on this issue nor have the local Lib
Dems made any attempt to contact me or my office directly."
the next five months, I will continue to make my case to this
community by talking about my ideas for our local area and the
positive things I would do if elected to represent you in Westminster.
The General Election on 7th May is a serious business; not only
must our community choose its next MP but our country will need
to decide whether it is to be led by David Cameron or Ed Miliband."
Munt wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron earlier this year,
stating: "I am writing to express my deep concern about the
election tactics your party is conducting in my constituency.
I have received a good number of complaints from my constituents
about telephone calls
the calls are identical and open with
the caller stating they are calling on behalf of your MP. I am
sure you would not condone or encourage such underhand methods
in order to obtain information from the electorate."