Opposition parties are demanding that Gordon Brown apologise for what they allege are lies being printed on Labour campaign leaflets….
Opposition parties are demanding that Gordon Brown apologise for what they allege are lies being printed on Labour campaign leaflets.
The demands follow a series of attacks on the SNP and Conservative parties contained in Labour election material. The controversial Labour claims cover areas including tax credits, child trust funds, healthcare and travel perks for pensioners.
Leaflets distributed by some Scottish Labour candidates also accuse the Tories of planning to remove the winter fuel payment and free bus travel. However these claims are contradicted by the Conservative manifesto which clearly states that they will be maintained.
Senior Scottish Labour politicians are amongst those said to be distributing ‘misleading’ material.
Chancellor Alistair Darling was one of many Labour candidates whose leaflets claimed the Conservatives would slash child tax credits for couples earning £16,000 or more each. This was despite the Conservative manifesto indicating the threshold would be £25,000.
There were calls for some leaflets to be withdrawn and a censure for candidates who are distributing them.
Conservative candidate David Mundell asked: “Why are they deliberately lying on their literature?”
Mr Mundell added: “Are they prepared to say sorry for the leaflet lies and the disgraceful campaign that Labour has been running in Scotland?
Gordon Brown himself came under fierce attack from the SNP after campaign leaflets distributed in his own constituency of Fife alleged that pensioners faced “SNP cuts to concessionary travel”.
A furious SNP accused the Labour leader of “misleading” the electorate and pointed out that the SNP had actually expanded the concessionary travel scheme to include disabled veterans from April 2011. The SNP also added that the party’s Westminster manifesto guaranteed concessionary travel for the elderly.
Mr Brown was also accused of having been “caught red handed” in the TV debates after stating that he had never authorised any leaflet scaremongering over bus passes for the elderly.
Challenged on Labour’s scaremongering tactics in relation to concessionary travel for pensioners Brown had said “I have not authorised any leaflets”.
SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson said:
“Brown has been caught red handed in this debate. He claimed he did not authorise the misleading and scaremongering leaflets yet there is one going out in his own constituency.
“If he can’t be trusted on his own leaflets then what can he be trusted on?
Labour defended their leaflet strategy as campaign election co-ordinator Douglas Alexander conceded such leaflets had been distributed by “a few” candidates.
Meanwhile there was further embarrassment for Labour after reports in The Telegraph that a poster showing David Cameron pushing a wheelchair was withdrawn from the official Labour website.
The image showed the faces of Cameron and William Hague superimposed onto the bodies of characters from comedy show Little Britain.
The image contained the caption:
“They’ll turn Great Britain into Little Britain,” and “Under the Tories, Britain would have less influence on the world stage.”
The Telegraph reports that the image was removed as a result of complaints about its tastelessness.
David Cameron’s six year old son Ivan, who suffered from cerebral palsy, died last year. He was often photographed being pushed in a wheelchair by his father.