There’s been a lot of comment over the fact that Lib Dem PPC, Jeremy Hilton, has been ‘caught’ asking a fellow Lib Dem to send a letter to the local newspaper. Eric Pickles (no less) feels this is so important that he has written to Nick Clegg demanding (yes, demanding) that Clegg ‘condemn’ Jeremy Hilton. What a load of bollocks. (By the way, if Pickles is such a big fish in the Tory party, why has he got the time to go on about such non-issues?)
Parmjit Dhanda, the MP Hilton is trying to unseat, described it as ‘dirty politics’. Bless.
This sort of thing happens all the time within every political party. Letters in our local paper appear week in, week out from local party activists essentially extolling the virtues of their candidates. It has become a key part of many campaigns. It’s quite obvious to everyone that many of these letters have not simply been written by random members of the public, but have had some input from the party. Many are probably written by party employees. So what’s the big deal?
I trust, though, that the Conservative and Labour headquarters will be issuing instructions to all candidates telling them that having any part to play in letters sent to a local paper is strictly forbidden. No, thought not.