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Exclusive: Tory Ministers Accused Of Spending Public Cash On Facebook Ads In Election Swing Seats

Tory ministers have come under fire for spending government cash on Facebook ads targeted at voters in election swing seats.

HuffPost UK has learned that ministers authorised more than 20 adverts, paid for with taxpayers’ cash, to go live on Tuesday, the same day Boris Johnson got MPs to back a snap general election. 

Published on a page for a government campaign called ‘My Town’, the ads trumpet £25m of investment for each individual area.

The adverts, designed by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), refer to the £3.6bn Towns Fund announced by the prime minister in September.

But they also say: “We want local people to determine how this money is spent.”

Labour MP Ian Lucas called the promotion an “outrageous” misuse of public cash.

He has written to Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove demanding to know how data was gathered for the campaign and accusing ministers of misusing taxpayers’ cash. 

The messages all appear to be specifically targeted at people living in mostly-Brexit-voting towns where the sitting MP has a majority below 5,000 votes, such as Milton Keynes, Morley, Northampton and Workington. 

“These adverts are being deployed to Tory target seats on the cusp of a general election,” Lucas said. 

“It would be an insult to our intelligence to say that this isn’t public money being used for political purposes. It clearly is.

“And it is an example of how the government is merging political activity with the arms of government in its own political interest.” 

 

Huff

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Tories, promising there’s a double inflation rise in pensions coming soon.

They don’t do subtle, do they?

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30 minutes ago, chrisp65 said:

Tories, promising there’s a double inflation rise in pensions coming soon.

They don’t do subtle, do they?

They also don't do truth. 

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4 hours ago, chrisp65 said:

Tories, promising there’s a double inflation rise in pensions coming soon.

That just represents the effect of the triple lock, doesn't it?

Much like the 'announcement' that the benefits freeze is apparently due to end next April which has been the policy since about January, I believe. (Btw, I wouldn't be at all surprised for the freeze to be maintained if they get a majority government).

Edited by snowychap

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2 hours ago, snowychap said:

That just represents the effect of the triple lock, doesn't it?

Much like the 'announcement' that the benefits freeze is apparently due to end next April which has been the policy since about January, I believe. (Btw, I wouldn't be at all surprised for the freeze to be mai9ntained if they get a majority government).

Probably, but presented today as a policy pitch of increased money if you vote Tory.

 

At best and being charitable you could say it was ‘disingenuous’. In reality, it’s a lot more squalid than that. Genetically incapable of plain truth.

 

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47 minutes ago, chrisp65 said:

Probably, but presented today as a policy pitch of increased money if you vote Tory.

 

At best and being charitable you could say it was ‘disingenuous’. In reality, it’s a lot more squalid than that. Genetically incapable of plain truth.

No need to be charitable. They know what they're doing and they know that most media outlets will fail to report it critically (at least initially, i.e. when it matters).

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Thing is, the people receiving benefits absolutely will not be voting Conservative, so this news will mean nothing to them in terms of voting intention. It's there to appease middle England conservative voters into thinking that they're doing their bit for the poor. 

I saw a chart on Twitter the other day that showed all constituencies listed in order of most deprived to least deprived and who they voted for in the last election. 

As you can imagine it was very red on one side and very blue on the other. The more deprived an area is, the more likely it is to vote Labour and visa versa. 

You can understand why when we see how the poor and less fortunate have been treated by the Tories.  

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4 hours ago, desensitized43 said:
5 hours ago, chrisp65 said:

Tories, promising there’s a double inflation rise in pensions coming soon.

They don’t do subtle, do they?

They also don't do truth. 

All that say to me is that they (Tory HW) have somehow had an early warning of an extreme cold weather event on its way to the UK,  on or after December 13th. 

 

 

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I'm not so sure about that to be honest 

Working class areas and estates etc are complicated, I know mine vote tory, Kidderminster as a largely working class town votes tory

Long and hard to explain, mainly that Labour are seen to represent the non working class who are far more despised than billionaires ever will be 

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9 minutes ago, villa4europe said:

The scariest thing about that for me is realising wyre forest is smack bang in the middle for deprivation... 

Birchen Coppice v Whitehill Road.

Edit: Though also if you look at the other constituencies around it on that chart like Slough and Cardiff Central, it seems about right.

Edited by snowychap
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My goodness, they're pathetic.

We would have left months ago if the Tories voted for their own deal...

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15 hours ago, villa4europe said:

The scariest thing about that for me is realising wyre forest is smack bang in the middle for deprivation... 

I wouldn’t worry too much about where you stand on a list that lists Kensington as being a more deprived than Pontypridd! 😂

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29 minutes ago, WhatAboutTheFinish said:

I wouldn’t worry too much about where you stand on a list that lists Kensington as being a more deprived than Pontypridd! 😂

That’s always going to be the problem with any of those lists, it’s an average over 40 or 50 thousand people. Grenfell is within Kensington and Chelsea.


Vale of Glam is smack in the middle there, in column 5. It has multi million pound houses in the Vale often listed as one of the best places to live in the UK. It also has housing estates where the deprivation and years of neglect are proving a real hard nut to crack.
It’s reflected in the almost 50/50 split in voting. The tory ponces around canvassing in the Vale at gymkanas and wine tastings and the lefties go leafleting in the failed 60’s housing estate and food banks. 
 

Edited by chrisp65

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2 hours ago, WhatAboutTheFinish said:

I wouldn’t worry too much about where you stand on a list that lists Kensington as being a more deprived than Pontypridd! 😂

I suspect you have to look beyond the headline names of the constituencies

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2 hours ago, WhatAboutTheFinish said:

I wouldn’t worry too much about where you stand on a list that lists Kensington as being a more deprived than Pontypridd! 😂

Do you have a methodology you'd like to share? Or a criticism of the methodology used by the person who came up with the chart?

Edited by snowychap

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