Thursday 9 July 2009

Tories V Lib Dems - press office wars

With the news-barren summer recess approaching, a war has erupted between the Tory and Lib Dem press offices.

It all started when the Tories noticed that a Lib Dem press release was based on figures that a Conservative MP had asked for.

The figures had been printed in Hansard, the Lib Dems had seen them and managed to get a press release out before the Tories.

Their release was worded carefully, not saying that the Lib Dems had “discovered” figures, but merely saying they were “highlighting” them.

It has now happened more than once.

On one occasion this week the Tory press office, a little riled no doubt, proceeded to copy the Lib Dem release word for word – just changing the quoted politician to a Tory before sending it out quickly.

The sneaky Lib Dems managed to spot another set of Tory figures and get their release out first again today.

Shortly after the Tories got their handbags out and called around local hacks telling them the Lib Dems had stolen their figures.

I suggest there should be a group fight – blues versus yellows – in central lobby at 5pm.


Nich Starling said...

The Tories did this in North Norfolk in 2003. They put out a leaflet in a by-election quoting fugres on off shore dredging which were actually from a written answer to a question from Lib Dem MP Norman Lamb.

The Lib Dems won the election with an increased majority.

Wilson said...

I concur with the above comment - the Tories are more renowned for this than the Lib Dems. When I worked for a Lib Dem MP a couple of years ago they did exactly the same thing.

The Tories have a bigger press office and more research staff, allowing them to keep a closer eye on answers to Parliamentary Questions.

They can't complain, but I am not complaining either - I would do exactly the same thing if I were an MP and saw some good figures come out. PQ answers are public information.

BigBossMan said...

Even though I'm a Tory, good on the Lib Dems I say.
If their press office is smaller, then it means they're doing a better job than the Tories who seem to have been caught on the hop.
Maybe it'll make them buck up theiur ideas a bit.

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