Shopkeeper’s Labour “boycott” up in flames

The Express today report that, "Newsagents urged to boycott Labour" if the Health Bill, which would ban the display of tobacco and the sale of tobacco from vending machines, becomes law. But it's unclear what a "boycott" would mean or where the idea has come from.

The Express today report that, “Newsagents urged to boycott Labour” if the Health Bill, which would ban the display of tobacco and the sale of tobacco from vending machines, becomes law.

This follows a similar story on the BBC’s website over the weekend declaring that, “Newsagents are threatening to boycott the Labour Party at the next general election if legislation bans them from openly displaying cigarettes.”

Both stories refer to the National Federation of Retail Newsagents but neither the statement on NFRN’s website or a full page advert in Friday’s Times mentions a boycott. Indeed, as Northern Heckler, who first alerted Left Foot Forward to the story, sets out on his blog:

“Nowhere do they mention ‘boycotting’ the Labour Party though. Not at all.

“What exactly does ‘boycotting’ a political party mean anyway?”

Asked by Left Foot Forward whether NFRN was urging a boycott of Labour, Communications Manager Anne Bingham, said:

“No. We can’t tell our members which way to vote. Obviously our members are very concerned … but at the end of the day it’s their own decision.”

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