Tories’ St Austell & Newquay candidate in ‘D***h***d!!!’ smear storm

Lib Dem blogger Matt Davies reports on a clumsy attempt by Tory PPC for St Austell & Newquay, Caroline Righton, to extract political advantage from her Lib Dem opponent, Stephen Gilbert – but, unfortunately, without trying to check her facts first.

Ms Righton accused Stephen of calling her a ‘D***h***d!!!’ on Twitter in an email to residents. Except that he didn’t. And as Matt explains, it’s hard to know how Ms Righton could have failed to realise this before broadcasting her allegation:

She might not have liked Steve highlighting their different priorities when it comes to helping local residents or getting on the radio, but it is obviously an outrageous smear that she is telling people that Steve made an offensive comment on his Twitter – which is open for anyone to look at!

She also suggests that she couldn’t see what Steve wrote herself, although the screenshot here shows that she has an account and that Steve is in fact one of six people she is ‘following’. She has even Twittered herself about the radio debate that night. So it wouldn’t have been hard for her to check her facts before she sent out this underhanded smear to residents.

So, what I think Caroline needs to tell us is if she knowingly lied as part of a very deliberate smear campaign – or was it just stupidity in adding in the rude word which presumably a fellow Tory and supporter added to Steve’s Tweet (either as their own offensive comment or as part of a deliberate smear campaign)?

Steve’s office has asked her to set the record straight with the local residents she sent this email to and to apologise for it – as, four days later, they have had no response, I think this deserves a wider audience! We’ll hopefully get an explanation from the St.Austell & Newquay Conservatives at some point…

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  • What a bizarre slur, and I don’t know what she thinks it means, either – clearly what one of her staff/supporters thinks of Stephen. To then forward that out in a piece of direct mail without anyone bothering to check it is hopelessly reckless and pathetic…

  • I blame Thatcher. Like me these people were probably educated during a Tory government and dont know how to use apostrophe’s let alone correct usage of “quotation marks”.

  • I think it’s astonishing she thought she’d get away with something like this – it’s just so easy to check and see that Steve never did what she accused him of.

    Some days on and still no sign of an apology – come on Caroline, do the honourable thing and say “sorry”.

3 Trackbacks

  • […] story have been taken up by quite a few other bloggers (including Andrew Reeves, Nich Starling and Lib Dem Voice), I've yet to see anyone try to defend or excuse her behaviour – or indeed any Tory commenter post […]

  • By Caroline Righton: will David Cameron reply? | Mark Pack on Wed 28th October 2009 at 9:00 pm.

    […] silence from Caroline Righton, the Conservative PPC for St Austell & Newquay, over allegations that she smeared her Lib Dem opponent with a faked message has resulted in the local Lib Dems now raising the issue with David Cameron […]

  • By Your Caroline Righton reader on Thu 29th October 2009 at 8:10 pm.

    […] Sunday Stephen blogged about the behaviour of Caroline Righton, the Conservative candidate for St Austell & Newquay, whose campaign is being accused of faking […]

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