Liberal Democrats defend controversial campaign leaflet

The Liberal Democrats have defended the practice of using campaign material styled in the form of a local newspaper.

The Liberal Democrats “Hallamshire Herald” and the Conservatives “Rother Valley Future” leaflets were circulated across Yorkshire and attracted criticism being presented like a local paper.

Andrew Sangar, publisher and Lib Dem councillor, defended the publication of the leaflets.

He said: “We have been printing the Hallamshire Herald since 1993. It’s a key part of how we communicate with the electorate and it is clearly a liberal democrat publication”.

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson has also defended the practice being quoted in the I. “Generally we have newspapers going out as one of our campaign types of leaflets and, as I say, it’s kind of as old as the hills,”

The Society of Editors, who campaign for media freedom, have condemned the practice calling it unacceptable.

They said: “If the intention is not to pull the wool, why not simply call a political freesheet the Conservative Courier, Labour Letter, Lib Dem Latest, Scots Nats Sentinel, or Brexit Party Beacon?.”

The Conservatives were not available for comment.