Tory campaign leaflets just sunk to a new low – even after the ‘fake newspapers’ scandal

Tory campaign leaflet dressed up as NHS survey
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The Conservative Party is up to its old tricks again, using more and more deceptive leafletting for its political campaigning. This time, it’s dropping ‘NHS surveys’ through people’s doors. They look like actual surveys, but in reality they’re a data-gathering exercise. Of course, the Tories have form on this – just look at the scandal over them distributing campaigning material dressed up as local newspapers.

‘Let’s protect our NHS’… kind of…

Chris Rand is a writer and community organiser from Cambridge. On 14 October, he shared an image on X which has now gone viral. It showed a Tory Party leaflet which, in his words, was “Literally pretending to be the NHS”:

The Tories circulated it for their MP candidate for South Cambridgeshire in the next general election, Chris Carter-Chapman – whose name is missing punctuation on the leaflet. It wasn’t the only error on the leaflet, which also asked people:

Read on...

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How would our rate local healthcare services?

Rand was furious. As he wrote on his website:

There’s a bit of blurb saying the survey is from the “South Cambs parliamentary candidate”, which will sound alarm bells to many people, although not all. And note there’s no mention at this point of any political party. There is some small print at the bottom, making it legal; and by the time you get to the second page, a “Conservatives” logo does appear, although we might well skim over that as we go through the form that we’d been ordered to complete (“Fill in your details now”!)

The Tories even sent the leaflet with a pre-paid return envelope. However, as Rand pointed out, the address on that gave little away to it being from the Tories. He summed up by saying that these kind of leaflets create an “air of suspicion” around what drops through people’s letterboxes.

People on X were unimpressed. EveryDoctor founder Dr Julia Grace Patterson was livid:

Another user reminded us of another, albeit bigger, con some Conservatives previously pulled:

Meanwhile, regulator the Electoral Commission was predictably limp regarding it – saying no law had been broken:

There’s also the issue of exactly what the Tories will be doing with people’s data from the survey. The party will be getting a lot of personal data – yet it’s unclear from the leaflet what will be done with this, how it will be stored, and whether it is even safe. Even the government’s data regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), felt the need to tweet:

Tory Party form on fake leaflets

As one X user pointed out, this is hardly the first time the Tories have pulled such a stunt:

The Canary previously reported on the ‘fake Tory newspapers‘ scandal. As we wrote:

In the three by-elections held recently, the Tories… [used] fake news tactics:

  • In Selby and Ainsty they distributed election propaganda posing as the “North Yorkshire Chronicle”.
  • Over in Somerset, it was the “Somerton and Frome Chronicle”.
  • In Uxbridge, the Tories published the “Uxbridge and South Ruislip People”.

Another example was this gem:

Lincoln Chronicle is a fake newspaper as Byline found


Someone on X also reminded us that the Tories also changed their leafletting colours as well:

Again, as the Canary previously reported, some Tories have changed their local leaflets to be green in colour – again, probably to fool voters. Foreign secretary James Cleverly is one such offender:

Manipulated by all three parties

Of course, it’s not just the Tories who are guilty of this. Rand pointed out the Lib Dems used dodgy voting figures in one of their campaign leaflets. Then, Labour previously ran those highly questionable ‘attack ads’ on Rishi Sunak.

Overall, as the Canary previously wrote:

it seems there’s no level of manipulation to which the three main parties won’t stoop to try and dupe people into voting for them. The Tories are, of course, the worst offenders. However, it seems the public aren’t daft – which poses a huge problem in itself. This century, voter turnout at general elections has been the lowest since 1918.

The Tories dressing up campaign material as the NHS is about as low as it’s got, though – until whatever trickery they decide to come up with next.

Featured image via Chris Rand

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