Tory race row in east London

The Conservative party have airbrushed ethnic minority candidates from campaign leaflets. Left Foot Forward today publishes the literature in full.

The Observer today carries a story about the Conservative party “airbrushing” ethnic minority candidates from campaign leaflets. It is alleged that the Tories in Dagenham and Rainham omitted non-white election candidates from their literature in areas where they are fighting the BNP. Left Foot Forward today publishes the leaflets in question.

Literature prepared in a number of wards contains pictures of all three local council candidates but the leaflets for the wards of Eastbrook, Whalebone, and Village (see below) – where black and minority ethnic (BME) candidates are standing – contain pictures of only the white candidates. The BNP have 12 councillors on Barking and Dagenham council including one in Village ward where Samson Omosule was omitted from the leaflet.

The Observer says:

The Tories said it was “fiction” to suggest that non-white candidates had been left off deliberately and said there was plenty of material showing these candidates. They forwarded different material to the Observer with photographs of the non-white candidates prominently displayed. But it appeared that these images had been superimposed onto the new material so that they were next to their white colleagues. They were not original, group photos.

The local candidate, Simon Jones, is not quoted in the article while Tory candidate in Eastbrook, Wale Oguntona, says, “I have been told that all inquiries have to be handled by Simon Jones.” It is unclear who, if anyone, is taking responsibility for the literature. The leaflets can be downloaded here, here and here.

Simon Jones1

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