Doncaster Conservative MP hits back in 'misleading' Green Party leaflets row
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The leaflets, which have been distributed across the country, feature various shades of green and include pictures of Tory MPs and their names - but without saying they are Conservatives, though there are references to the “Government”.
Don Valley Conservative MP Nick Fletcher recently shared a photo of a bundle of ‘Meet Your MP’ leaflets, printed in green, rather than traditional Tory blue which make no reference to his party.
He has now said he is “not keen” on the design and says the reason for leaflets failing to mention he is a Conservative was ‘deliberate.’
He said: “It seems that I and many other Conservative MPs have come under fire for our leaflets publicising meetings to Meet Your MP.
"The complaint is that they are not blue and don’t say that I am a Conservative.
"You’re right - they are green and they certainly don’t say that I’m a Conservative. There is a reason for this. It is deliberate.
"The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) set out templates for “Meet Your MP” leaflets that can be used by any MP of any political party.
"I have used these for the five public meetings I have held so far across my constituency. The next one is in Tickhill on Thursday 13th April at 6 pm.
"Personally I’m not keen on the design but it is what it is. And it does the job.
“I have not met anyone who can recall a Doncaster MP holding a series of Meet Your MP meetings in the past few decades so that may be why it’s aroused controversy with my critics."
A campaign group has written to the Conservative Party demanding activists stop distributing the leaflets with their green colour scheme
Among senior MPs named on the leaflets in other parts of the country include Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and former Work and Pensions Secretary Chloe Smith.
South Cambridgeshire MP Anthony Browne, West Bromwich MP Nicola Richards, Totnes MP Anthony Mangnall and High Peak's Robert Largan were all named on similar flyers in their areas.
In a letter, Reform Political Advertising says the leaflets “utilise the same five-degree tilted stripe, two shades of green and typeface” as the Green Party.
Reform Political Advertising Co-Founder Alex Tait said: “We’ve written to the Conservative Party to urge them to stop producing these deliberately misleading leaflets.
“At a time when faith in politics, trust in democracy, and respect for politicians is at an all-time low, dressing up your own adverts in the clothes of another party is deeply irresponsible."
The Green Party said “clearly the Conservatives’ own brand is now so bad, and Tory MPs so deeply embarrassed about their own government, that they are trying to camouflage themselves as Greens”.
Co-leader Adrian Ramsay added: “If the Conservatives really wanted to be Green, they would also pinch our popular policies such as tackling the climate emergency, standing up for public services and supporting the least well off in society.
“But unfortunately there seems little prospect of them doing that.”