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You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Thursday 10 May 2012

Has Zac Goldsmith been taken in by fake Lib Dem leaflets?

I think Zac Goldsmith may have been taken in by some fake Lib Dem literature.

On the night of the local elections last week, there was a by-election in North Richmond for a seat on the Council. In the last election the excellent Lib Dem candidate, Jane Dodds, lost by just 19 votes.

Jane, her agent Roger Hayes, and many local Lib Dems ran a fantastic campaign and worked very hard, plus of course helped the Lib Dem GLA candidate Munira Wilson with her campaign.  I too delivered a ton of stuff around Ham Common for Munira - so was surprised on election night to see this tweet from our local MP, Zac Goldsmith...

Certainly nothing I had delivered for Munira could remotely have caused a reaction like that

It was also clear that the Tories were very worried about the result...

...which is why I was very surprised to see later that not only had Jane lost - but the margin of losing was rather more than last time - 146 votes.

Now news has broken that a whole series of fake leaflets were being delivered in North Richmond, purporting to be from the Lib Dems but in fact, completely fake. The details have been published over at Lib Dem Voice and the matter is now in the hands of the police. Roger Hayes is convinced these leaflets made the difference between winning and losing.

Now, lets be 100% clear. I don't think for one second Zac Goldsmith had anything to do with those fake leaflets, nor do I believe that it is likely anyone connected to the major political parties would have done any such thing.

But if these were the leaflets that Zac refered to in his tweet, then he has - mistakenly - slurred the good name of Jane and Munira - and I think he should be big enough to apologise for that mistake.

Go on Zac. Do the right thing.

Update: 21:16

Someone who would know (ie not me) has been in touch to suggest...

'I think Zac's complaint was about us 'politicising' the issue of Osbourne and Cameron reopening the issue of Heathrow expansion. Apparently he thought it was underhand for us to campaign on an issue on which he felt so uncomfortable...!

I very much doubt he was referring to the fake leaflets'

In which case there is of course no need for him to apologise. Though if he thinks we shouldn't be politicising the third runway, he's got another thing coming...

And he might want to clarify which leaflets he's so hot under the collar about.

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