The Tories are not having a good week in terms of their ethics. Having already used blatant fake news to claim Labour had already broken an election promise on student debt that the party had never made, they attempted to justify the lie by tweeting a quote from an article in NME magazine.
And were taken to task by the creator of the image they used to do it.
Music photographer Jordan Curtis Hughes had some strong words for the Conservative party when he saw that they’d used the NME cover that included a photo he’d taken of Jeremy Corbyn to propagandise against the Labour leader:
For someone who makes his living from his pictures, a political party taking bread from his table by using it without permission or payment is a serious matter. But that wasn’t Jordan’s principle objection – and he wasn’t finished objecting:
Not a man for mincing his words, clearly – although mincing Tories is a different matter. And a bonus prize definitely goes to IC Media for the ‘wheat fields’ comment.
The SKWAWKBOX spoke to Mr Hughes, who confirmed that he is taking legal advice on the legality or otherwise of the Tories’ unauthorised use of his image and will update this blog when he has a response from the lawyers.
The Tories are clearly grasping at any straw they can to try to undermine Corbyn’s and Labour’s soaring polling – in this case presenting a magazine interview given just after Theresa May called the election as if it constitutes a manifesto promise, when no such commitment was in the manifesto.
What Corbyn actually said in an excellent NME interview paints a very different picture – excuse the pun – from the Tories’ lame and arguably illegal tweet:
I don’t have the simple answer for it at this stage – I don’t think anybody would expect me to, because this election was called unexpectedly; we had two weeks to prepare all of this – but I’m very well aware of that problem,” said Corbyn. “And I don’t see why those that had the historical misfortune to be at university during the £9,000 period should be burdened excessively compared to those that went before or those that come after. I will deal with it.
Which is a very different thing from a formal manifesto promise – and indeed, Corbyn already said last week that he was still looking at ways to achieve his ambition to cancel student debt.
Watch this space for developments. If you want to see more of Mr Hughes’ outstanding photographs please visit his webpage.
The Conservative party was contacted for comment in relation to the image use and the tweet attempting to justify its claim that Labour had promised to ‘wipe’ student debt, but has not yet responded.
(And yes, the SKWAWKBOX obtained his permission before reproducing his image for this article).
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