Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tory Health Charity Hijack: Ashcroft's Bearwood Barefaced

Red Rooster had an exclusive story yesterday afternoon about Tory PPC Caroline Noakes hijacking the logo and campaign of the Breast Cancer Care charity to front up a party political survey which has nothing to do with that charity. She says she will personally donate an unspecified sum to the charity for every survey returned. This morning Recess Monkey takes up the story with a list of some £26,000 of registered donations from dollar billionaire and sometime Belizean Lord Ashcroft's Bearwood Corporate Services Limited, and £9,500 from three other companies. £15,000 has also been donated by three named individuals. More than £50,000 of registered donations in two and a half years.

Nearer to home we have seen similar tactics. In 2005 John Leech MP stuck out a leaflet - alongside his Christie Hospital Cancer Hoax - about women's cancers. As I recall this too appeared to be endorsed by a number of charities.

In the infamous "Save Christie's Hospital" leaflet he posed grinning with various other Manchester Lib Dem councillors and stated that the Hospital needed to be saved from closure.

And these were even spread in hospital waiting rooms where chemo- and radio- therapy patients and their friends and relatives waited for treatment. Most of these patients and visitors were NOT members of the electorate in the constituency.

In the run up to the General Election that never was this autumn he stuck out a leaflet with a list of his various health activities, aimed at deflecting from his callous Christie campaign where his false claims clearly influenced some voters.

Recess has already run a follow up story stating that the Charity will not accept donations from the PPC and that as of the new year the promise of unspecified donations will itself become illegal. Nestled towards the foot of the Red Rooster story is this further claim:

In a previous campaign against John Denham, she (A-lister Caroline Nokes) sent out campaign literature with herself in 'provocative poses' to male voters.

We don't have a copy of such leaflets at the moment but the latest is top right (click to enlarge).


Anonymous said...

As Caroline Nokes is not 'soliciting money or other property' for the charity, I don't believe that she would be in breach of s.60A of the Charities Act 1992 (as added by the 2006 Act). She is merely asking for people to complete a survey and saying that she would donate money for each returned form.

Anonymous said...

Alex Hilton is either very busy or doesn't like to be corrected. Immediately after I posted on your blog I posted the same thing to Recess Monkey ... but it hasn't appeared yet.