Tory MP hopeful humiliated after plot to fake positive interaction with 'voter' caught on hot mic

Written by John Johnston on 25 November 2019 in Diary

The Tories have managed to get caught in yet another row over fake news.

The Tory candidate for the marginal Ashfield constituency has found himself embroiled in the mother of all fake news rows after he was caught setting up a positive interaction with a voter.

Lee Anderson triggered fury last week after he released a video saying nuisance council tenants should be forced to live in tents and pick vegetables.

Mr Anderson, who had previously worked for local Labour MP Gloria De Piero, said of the unruly tenants: "These people, who have to live somewhere, let's have them in a tent, in the middle of a field.

"Six o'clock every morning, let's have them up.

"Let's have them in the field, picking potatoes or any other seasonal vegetables, back in the tent, cold shower, lights out, six o'clock, same again the next day."

But the comments drew fury from Labour, who likened Mr Anderson's plans to a modern-day "labour camp".

However, faced with an interview from veteran broadcaster Michael Crick, the Tory hopeful said he had "no comment" about the incident, saying instead he wanted to focus on other issues.

But his comments quickly came up again after Mr Anderson knocked on the door of a voter who praised the controversial plans and said they didn't go far enough.

The man, who appeared not to know Mr Anderson, said he would have seen nuisance tenants give the "cat o'nine tails" and be forced to wear a "pink tutu" in public.




But Mr Anderson was left red-handed after the Daily Mail team appeared to have caught him setting up the interaction in advance.

In a phonecall made moments before, the Tory candidate said: "Make out you know I'm the candidate but not a friend, alright?"

And he even told his accomplice to peek out the window and see them standing across the road in the carpark.

He added: "Alright, I'll see you in a minute."

It comes after the party were given a formal warning by Twitter for changing their press office account to mimic that of an official fact checker during the first head-to-head debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn.

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