Analysis Exclusive

‘Dark money’ page buying pro-Graham ads deleted from Facebook after exposure by Skwawkbox

‘If it’s innocent, why delete it?’

The anonymous Facebook page buying ads to support pro-Graham candidates in the Unite executive elections was deleted hours after Skwawkbox exposed it on Monday.

The page, named ‘Executive Council Elections’, had originally been set up in December under the name ‘The Manifesto’, but re-named to buy a string of ads urging Unite members to vote for sets of candidates in different sectors and geographies – but all of them from the slate of candidates backing Sharon Graham’s attempt to consolidate her grip on the union.

The page provided no information to indicate who owned or was running it – ‘dark money’ attempting to buy influence in the crucial election in favour of the controversial general secretary, who has been accused of trying to have evidence destroyed that had been collected against her husband in a string of misogyny and bullying complaints, then employing him in a senior role in her team despite the union’s final warning over his behaviour.

But after Skwawkbox exposed its activities, the page was suddenly deleted, leaving those attempting to view it receiving the following messages from Facebook:

The deletion further underscored the shady nature of the page. As one Unite insider told Skwawkbox:

If the advertising was being done legitimately, why delete it? They would be afraid that more investigating would be done into who was running and paying for the ads. That to me is a sign of guilt.

Skwawkbox asks readers to report any further such ads to, in case those behind the page attempt to set up a new conduit for the dark money campaign.

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