Cameron threatens to sue over Henley leaflet (yeah, right)

The BBC is reporting:

The Conservatives are threatening legal action against the Lib Dems over the Henley by-election. They have written to the Lib Dems over allegations concerning a local community hospital, which they say their candidate has always supported.
Unless the Lib Dems withdraw a leaflet and remove claims from their website by noon, the Tories say they will sue. A Lib Dem spokesman said they would not be withdrawing the comments, adding: “We feel we are on firm ground”.

You can read the story on Stephen Kearney’s website here.

Separately, and more bizarrely (well, the story does involve Boris Johnson), the London Mayor has taken umbrage at a Lib Dem magazine he claims pretends to carry a by-lined article from him. You can view the leaflet here.

As can be seen, the bits which Boris says pretend to be by him are clearly labelled ‘Our view’ (ie, the editorial line of the magazine) – not ‘My view’, still less ‘Boris’s view’.

I’ll eat my hat if the Tories actually do pursue legal action to court on either count: their comments strike me as a way of attempting to distract the Henley Lib Dems campaign team, and to stir things up with the media… it’s almost as if the Tories are feeling a bit rattled. Surely not? After all, PoliticsHome’s panel of 100 experts predicts they’ll romp home with an increased majority.

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This entry was posted in Parliamentary by-elections.


  • But, who exactly is it that owns PoliticsHome? And might that not have influenced their opinion on the matter?

  • Well here is the chairman of PoliticsHome – maybe a slight bias

  • I think the purpose of both these threats is to distract attention from the unanswered 12 questions.

  • Andrew Garnett 20th Jun '08 - 9:21pm

    I guess you’d better get ready to start chomping on felt then Stephen. Good on Cameron for standing up to LD smear campaigns.

  • passing tourist 20th Jun '08 - 9:53pm

    A pretty nasty litigious and bullying lot of Tories around those parts.

    What is Politics Home? Never heard of it.

  • In my experience people threaten legal action for two reasons:

    1. To divert your attention and because they are rattled – provided you are sure of your facts and stick to your argument they go away.

    2. Because you are wrong and they are right.

    In this case I think they are in the first camp – raising threats and controversy as a smear campaign to get press coverage focused on us rather than them and make our ‘attack’ the story

  • So why are the Lib Dems giving the Conservatives a free run in another by-election? Oh, yeah, something about trusting the Conservatives to stand up for civil liberties.

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