Tories buy fake website bearing Labour MP’s name as party intensifies ‘dirty tricks’ campaign

The Conservatives are under fire for more “dirty tricks” after buying up a website address in the name of a Labour candidate – to tell voters to “stop Jeremy Corbyn.” The domain name margaretbeckett.com – instead of promoting the former Labour foreign secretary, a candidate in Derby South – reads ‘Don’t Vote Labour’ and attacks…

The Conservatives are under fire for more “dirty tricks” after buying up a website address in the name of a Labour candidate – to tell voters to “stop Jeremy Corbyn.”

The domain name margaretbeckett.com – instead of promoting the former Labour foreign secretary, a candidate in Derby South – reads ‘Don’t Vote Labour’ and attacks her voting record.

A video of her Conservative rival, Ed Barker, carries the banner: “As the Labour candidate hasn’t set up her own website, I thought I’d do one for her.”

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The stunt was attacked by Ms Beckett who told The Independent: “This seems to be more Tory dirty tricks, which is par for the course. It’s also a bit pathetic.

“If they were confident in their case, they would simply put that case forward instead of doing something like this to give people the wrong impression.”

Approached by The Independent, the Conservative Party did not deny that its candidate bought up the domain name and refused to comment.

The row comes after the controversies that saw the Conservatives set up both a fake ‘factchecking’ service and a fake Labour website that instead pumped out Tory policies.

At the weekend, Mr Corbyn protested that the succession of Tory stunts was bringing “politics and democracy into disrepute”.

The address margaretbeckett.com carries the headline ‘Derby South Labour = Jeremy Corbyn & No Brexit’.

leftCreated with Sketch.
rightCreated with Sketch.

It claims a vote for the party will mean “more Brexit delay, “a second EU referendum”, “more uncertainty”, “a second Scottish referendum” and “more division”.

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Ms Beckett linked the move to the cancellation of traditional hustings in Derby Cathedral because the Conservative candidate declined to take part.

A planned TV debate involving the candidates in the neighbouring Derby North constituency had also been pulled for the same reason, she said.

“The Conservatives are deliberately withdrawing from the political arena,” Ms Beckett said.

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