Superb work by Channel 4 News in tonight’s broadcast showing that the Tories employed a company called Blue Telecoms to conduct paid canvassing thinly (and often very thinly) disguised as market research.
Paid canvassing to persuade someone to vote for a particular party is a major breach of electoral law.
Not only that, but the Tories targeted households that included many that had opted out of receiving calls via the TPS (Telephone Preference Service). Genuine market research calls are exempt from the TPS block, but working for the Tories to steer people to vote Conservative is not genuine market research.
Contacting TPS-registered people when you’re not a genuine market research company – or paying others to do so – is also a serious breach of the law, in this case the Data Protection Act.
Finally, Blue Telecoms lied about its identity to call recipients – another breach.
However, Channel 4 cannot really claim to have ‘broken’ this news, as online news outlet The Canary got there over 6 weeks ago by showing that the Tories used the same firm for the same illegal activities over two years ago for the 2015 General Election:
And the Canary appears to have known it was still ongoing, as they were appealing for witnesses in early May, asking anyone who had worked for the firm at any time since 2013.
Sterling work by Channel 4 to get a reporter inside the firm and obtain such damning footage.
But a big shout as well to The Canary for being on the case more than a month before the recent General Election campaign finished. Score one for the Left’s independent media – again.
The BBC is, so far, not reporting the news. That has to change. Illegal campaigning in 2015 and illegal campaigning in 2017 – this must not be allowed to be anything less than the straw that breaks the back of the wheezing, two-legged camel that is Theresa May’s floundering and flailing ‘government’.
And the Crown Prosecution Service must not let this pass unprosecuted as it did with the majority of the Tories’ 2015 election expense breaches.
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