7 February 2014

My Complaint Over the "Only" Liberal Democrat Lie

Some of you might have caught our press response to the outrageous Liberal Democrat claim yesterday about Europe. I've gone further today. It is my strong belief that the final seat in the North West European Elections will now be won by the Greens, the Liberal Democrats or the BNP. Given how close the election was last time, I want to be clear that I'll challenge false claims made by other parties. While I would prefer to raise this with the Electoral Commission, they are clear that complaints have to be made to the Police. I'll keep you posted on the response.

FAO: Merseyside Police Commissioner

I am writing to request you investigate the contents of the Liberal Democrats election broadcast and the contents of the email that I am forwarding.

The Liberal Democrats, and I can only assume their leader, given that the email appeal is signed “Nick”, are making the following claim:

“Only the Liberal Democrats will fight to keep Britain IN Europe”

I believe this is a false claim. It is a lie that is being used to seek an electoral advantage. I would offer the following evidence in support of my complaint.

· The Labour Party, The Green Party and even the Conservative Party have stated on many occasions their commitment to keep Britain in the EU (please see references 1 & 2)

· The claim that the Liberal Democrats are the “only” party who will do this is a lie used to gain an electoral advantage and influence the results of the European Elections

There are possible defences to this claim. If there was, for example, a minor party who had this listed as their policy, but this was not commonly known, then the claim may be defensible. That is not the case in this example. When parties are making claims that “only” a vote for them will achieve a desired outcome, this should be subject to scrutiny and challenge. If it is clearly false or a lie, as in this case, then the Electoral Commission makes clear that complaints should be directed to the Police.

Many believe that the Liberal Democrats now have a long history of distorting the truth [3] in electoral campaigning, so I am initiating a complaint process with you now. The Police have many more important jobs to do. Unfortunately, where a clear lie is being put to use for electoral advantage, then the only current route to redress is through a complaint to the Police.

Yours Sincerely

Peter Cranie
NW Green Party


[1] Ed Miliband “I will fight your corner for Britain to remain in the EU. And I will fight your corner to reform it.”
[2] Caroline Lucas “That’s why, in a referendum campaign, the Greens will fight for continued membership of the EU, but – with equal vigour – will make the case for wider EU reform.”
[3] http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/rupert-read/why-do-lib-dems-care-so-much-about-lord-rennard

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