Thursday, 8 June 2017

What do we mean by "National" election spending.

The Fib Dems have come up with a novel excuse over why they are unable to pit out leaflets to correct wrong information they issued about Plaid Cymru’s stance on Brexit because doing so could put them over their election spending limit.

Which begs the question just how much  have the Fib Dems spent in Ceredigion.

I have received yet another Labour leaflet delivered by post  for the Pontypridd Constituency bringing up yhose from that Party to six and I am not even living in a marginal seat.

Mark Williams, the Lib Dems’ candidate for Ceredigion , where the main rival party is Plaid, has apologised for Facebook advertisements and leaflets that claimed Plaid was seeking a “hard Brexit”.
In fact, Plaid wants the UK to retain unfettered access to the European Single Market after Brexit occurs in 2019.
In the Facebook advert, the Liberal Democrats said they were the only party “fighting to keep Britain in the Single Market at this election”.
The advert went on to say that “Plaid Cymru are backing an extreme Brexit, along with Labour, the Tories and Ukip”.
He initially tweeted: “Facebook advert is nonsense and has been removed. I value working with all against hard Brexit, including Plaid Cymru, to whom I apologise.”
And on Monday evening, at a hustings meeting in Aberystwyth attended by around 400 voters, Mr Williams repeated his apology, saying the advertisement was “wrong, wrong, wrong”.

Facebook advert was nonsense and has been removed. I value working with all against Hard Brexit, including Plaid Cymru, to whom I apologise.
But Plaid activists were angered when, after the apology, leaflets arrived at voters’ homes which repeated the false statement.
Plaid campaign organiser Matthew Woolfall-Jones said: 
“We received reports from a number of our members and supporters that the same lie was repeated on leaflets they received from the Lib Dems after Mark Williams’ apology.
“While it has been put to the Lib Dems that they should make up for what has happened by sending out leaflets that correct the lie, they have not done that.”
Answering the Wasting Mule the Lib Dem campaign organiser Ed Fordham how the mistake was made in the first place, and whether the party was sending out fresh leaflets putting the record straight to those who had received the false information.
He wouldn’t identify who was responsible for the false information, but said: “The mistake was not made in Ceredigion, but by someone at a national level in the party.”
Mr Fordham refused to say whether the error had been made in Cardiff or London, but said: “Mark has a very clear position on not wanting to criticise Plaid Cymru over their stance on Brexit, but the same view may not be taken in Cardiff.
“The local campaign in Ceredigion sees all campaign material originated locally, but national material like the Facebook advert and leaflets which criticised Plaid over Brexit was not seen by Mark or his team.”
Which leads me to another question  "National Material" I believe is not counted  entirely as constituency expenditure.

But what does "National" mean in this case  is it UK expenditure  or Welsh expenditure.

After all "Welsh" Labour have been conducting a Semi -Nationalist campaign  in Wales are they then counted separately from the London led campaign .

Can it mean that "Welsh" Labour could have a bigger percentage pot fighting forty seats as the UK party can spend less in parts of England and maybe Scotland putting up paper candidates who campaign on a shoe string.

The Guide-lines from the electoral Commission are not entirely clear

The question is if a "Welsh" Party fight an election claiming to be distinct from the UK party should "National" spending be on a Wales basis on the same level as Plaid Cymru.?

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