Tory London mayoral campaign accused of ‘desperate scaremongering’ with misleading leaflets

'How come this level of disinformation is allowed in an election campaign?'

Susan hall London mayoral candidate

The Conservative London mayoral campaign has been slammed for using disinformation on leaflets put out to Londoners accusing Sadiq Khan of planning a tax on drivers. 

On a yellow leaflet designed to look like an official penalty charge notice, with little indication that it is a party political campaign leaflet, it reads in capital letters ‘driving charge notice’, ‘do not ignore’ and ‘warning’.

The piece of paper then reads, ‘The mayor of London is planning another tax on drivers’ and ‘If you’re not prepared to pay, then scan the QR code below’. The QR code leads to a website which falsely claims Sadiq Khan is planning a pay-per-mile scheme in London, something the London mayor has repeatedly ruled out. 

It comes three days after Susan Hall the Tory mayoral candidate got slammed for spreading ‘fake news’ after she posted a ‘pay-per-mile’ picture on X claiming again that the Labour mayor of London is planning to charge motorists for every mile they drive. 

London Labour responded to Hall’s post by saying that the sign “does not and will never exist” adding “this is a photoshopped image and is a lie”. 

Tory party campaign tactics ahead of the London mayoral elections in May have continued to use fear-mongering around Ulez as a tool against Sadiq Khan, with the latest leaflets leading to calls for an investigation by the Electoral Commission. 

Adam Bienkov, ByLine Times political editor said of the leaflets: “Just straightforward disinformation, designed to trick people into handing over their data.” 

He said that there was hardly any mention of Susan Hall on the leaflet or website and the Conservative Party is only mentioned in smallprint at the end of the website page. 

Another X user who had a leaflet wrote: “Susan Hall’s latest scaremongering.”

Rob Blackie, the Lib Dem London mayoral candidate, warned: “The Conservatives will panic people with this sort of leaflet – it really isn’t acceptable.”

Journalist James Ball wrote on X: “The only form of criminal libel that still exists in the UK is posting false information about a candidate during an election period. The penalties are quite severe. The people behind this leaflet may wish to think about that…”

Presenter Sue Perkins said it was, “horror-bollocks from the usual suspects. How come this level of disinformation is allowed in an election campaign?”

A source close to Ms Hall said previously: “Sadiq promised not to bring in the Ulez expansion, and then he did it anyway.

“His promises now are worthless from a man with a track record of dishonesty.

“Sadiq has spent £150 million on the technology for pay per mile, and he expects Londoners to believe he won’t use that technology? Mad.”

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward, focusing on trade unions and environmental issues

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