The Conservative Party has been accused of misleading the public during a TV election debate through a “dystopian” fact checker which filled social media with anti-Labor rhetoric.
AsBoris JohnsonandJeremy Corbynfaced jeers from the studio audience over their answers onBrexitand the NHS, the Tory press office changed its Twitter handle to “factcheckuk” – mimicking independent organizations such as FullFact.
Twitter warned the party that it would take “corrective action” to prevent such behavior – but foreign secretary Dominic Raab said “no one gives a toss” about the cut and thrust of social media.
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Boris Johnson visits washing machine factory
On the campaign trail, the PM has visited a washing machine manufacturer in the north-east of England as he embarks on a series of election campaign visits in the region.
Johnson met workers and tried his hand at molding parts at the Ebac factory in Newton Aycliffe.
Mr Johnson posed through drums and placed “Made in Britain “stickers on new machines as he toured the factory – the UK’s only washing machine manufacturer.
Minister says Tories could still use ‘factcheckuk’ handle in future debates
Brandon Lewis, the security minister, has said the Conservatives have not yet decided whether or not they will rebrand their CCHQ Twitter account to ” factcheckUK “again during future election debates.
Mr Lewis told BBC News:” Look, first of all what I would say is the Twitter handle was very clear, it was always CCHQPress, it made it very clear it was the Conservative Party, it linked to the Conservatives’ website.
“And what we were doing, no one person has the monopoly on fact checking, we were just being very open about the fact that we were going to call out and fact check anything that was said and wasn’t accurate from the Labor Party. “
He added:” So look I think it is absolutely fair for us to be calling out the facts and being open and clear about those facts and challenging them when they’re misleading. “
Q uestioned on whether the Conservatives plan to change their display name again in the next debate, Mr Lewis added: “Well I don’t think the team have taken a decision about that yet.
” I think we certainly cut through in the fact that we were calling out the facts, so I think in that sense it was a good thing to do that we were there, being open, being clear about when Labor are reporting absolute lies about different issues . “
Jo Swinson visits primary school to launch education policy
The Lib Dem leader and Layla Moran, the party’s education spokesperson, were at Trumpington Park primary school in Cambridge to push proposals to pump an extra £ 10 billion a year into education and recruit 20, 000 more teachers.
Picture by Aaron Chown / PA Wire / PA Images
Does familiarity breed contempt?
In a blow to Lib Dem leader, YouGov has found that Jo Swinson’s favorite rating is up 3pts since she took charge – but her unfavourable rating has shout up too.
Lib Dem leader condemned for stance on nuclear weapons
Jo Swinson has been criticized for trying to pass a “virility test” after saying she would be willing to press the nuclear button if she becomes prime minister.
The Liberal Democrat leader was asked if she would “ever be prepared to use a nuclear weapon”, answering with a single word: “Yes.”
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament attacked the “disgraceful response”, saying: “Not even a moment’s hesitation about the prospect of killing millions of people. We need better than this. ”
Still time to register to vote
The UK is just weeks away from a snap general election on December 12 – but there is still time to get register.
Lib Dems brand Tory fact checker row as’ straight out of Donald Trump’s playbook
Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said: “This is straight out of Donald Trump or Putin’s playbook. Not content with excluding the voice of Remain from this debate, the Tories are now resorting to deliberately misleading the public.
“People know they can’t trust a word that Boris Johnson or the Conservatives say. The country deserves better. Only the Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit on day one and build a brighter future. “
Twitter to take action over ‘misleading’ accounts in future
Twitter says that the Tories broke its rules by attempting to “mislead people” with a fake fact-checking account, and that the party will be
During the general election debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, an official Twitter account run by the Conservatives changed its name to “FactCheckUK” and claimed to be a fact -checking organization while continuing to post Tory propaganda.
TV leaders debate watched by 6.7m people
Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn’s clash on ITV attracted more than 6m viewers last night, according to the broadcaster ITV.
Boris Johnson’s support for the monarchy ‘unforgivable’ says Labor
Dawn Butler, shadow equalities secretary, condemned Boris Johnson for defending the institution of the monarchy, which he described as “beyond reproach”. It comes in the wake of the row over Prince Andrew’s friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein
Speaking on theTodayprogram, Ms Butler said: “I think most people would think that there is always room for improvement, and I think that Boris’s response in regards to the royal family being beyond reproach was just flabbergasting with everything that is currently being exposed in regards to Prince Andrew and the scandal and the paedophile.
“To actually not talk about the victims, which Jeremy did right straight away and saying that we should be focusing on the victims, but then to say that the royal family is beyond reproach is unforgivable . “
Ms Butler added:” And it just stinks of this kind of, the law doesn’t apply to a certain group of people in society. And I just think it’s horrendous. “
Social media firms ‘must do better’ says Labor after Twitter row
Shadow women and equalities secretary Dawn Butler said social media firms must “do better” following the row over the Conservatives changing their CCHQ Twitter account handle into factcheckUK during Tuesday night’s leaders’ debate.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, Ms Butler said: “I think they (Twitter) had options. They could either have renamed the account and put back the original branding, because, in order to try and deceive the public, the Conservative Party changed everything. “
On whether Twitter should have taken more immediate action, she said:” I think that’s one of the options they could have done. They could have just suspended the account and taken it down and, to me, that would have been the better punishment.
“And I think the other thing is remove the blue tick, because you cannot have a blue tick if you are trying to impersonate a legitimate account. “
Pushed on whether the Conservatives being warned not to do it again is enough, Ms Butler said:” No, it’s not enough, and we’ve been talking about the responsibilities of the social media platforms for quite a while and they have to do better.
“And I think this is another example where social media has failed and it’s terrible.”
Lib Dems pledge ’emergency cash injection’ for schools
Layla Moran, the party’s education spokesperson, said the Lib Dems would spend £ 4.6 billion – rising to over £ (billion by) / 25.
She toldToday: “Well, actually, I think school leaders that I’ve spoken to would very much welcome this money, and, yes, we do need to keep spending, which is why we overshoot that by the end of the parliament.
“But we need to be doing that responsibly and so we ‘ ve said by stopping Brexit we would create an uptick in the economy. We’ve taken the lowest numbers of that, it’s independent numbers, and it would be £ 50 billion in what we ‘re calling a’ Remain bonus’, and we would plow that into education. “
Pushed on how a” Remain bonus “can be estimated at £ 50 billion, Ms Moran said: “Well, it is a prediction, it’s a prediction based on – there are a range of economic forecasts and we’ve purposely taken some of the more conservative estimates of that, and it comes predicated on the fact that we also know that by stopping Brexit there will be an uptick to our economy, there is no independent forecast which doesn’t suggest that’s true. “
Electoral watchdog reminds Tories over ‘campaigning transparency’
The Electoral Commission has put out a statement on last night’s debate as the Tory fact-checker row rumbles on.
A spokesperson said: “Voters are entitled to transparency and integrity from campaigners in the lead-up to an election, so they have the information they need to decide for themselves how to vote.
“The Electoral Commission seeks to deliver transparency to the public through the political finance rules. While we do not have a role in regulating election campaign content, we repeat our call to all campaigners to undertake their vital role responsibly and to support campaigning transparency. “
Liberal Democrats to launch election manifesto
Jo Swinson will put forward her party’s manifesto this afternoon, which is expected to contain an offer to boost mental health services for new mothers.
The first of the three major national parties to unveil their manifesto, the Lib Dems are fighting to turn around a squeeze in the polls which has seen them struggle to push beyond the mid-teens since the election campaign began.
Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn jeered by studio audience during election debate
Boris Johnson drew laughter from the audience in theITVleaders debate, when he claimed he thought the “truth matters ”- despite repeated accusations of misleading the public.
His Labor rival Jeremy Corbyn also attracted jeers when he spoke about Brexit, and some audience members seemed to take against his suggestion climate change could affect The Poorest.
How Twitter’s rules let Tories convincingly rebrand as fact checkers
Our technology correspondent Andrew Griffin has taken a look at the row over the Conservative Party’s Twitter account during last night’s TV debate.
Missed the ITV election debate last night?
Our political correspondent Ashley Cowburn has written an essential briefing on last night’s events and what is to come on the campaign trail today.
Tories accused of ‘dystopian’ fact-checking during election debate
Tory chairman James Cleverly insisted the Twitter handle remained the same – @CCHQPress – so it was “clear the nature of the site”.
He told (Newsnight) : “The reason we did that is because we were calling out the inaccuracies, the lies that were coming out during the debate. The NHS is not for sale. “
Asked if he knew about the change, Mr Cleverly said:” The digital team have got a remit, I set that remit, they work within the remit and I’m absolutely comfortable with them calling out when the Labor Party puts what they know to be complete fabrications in the public domain – and we will call that out every time they do it. “
Tory minister says ‘no one gives a toss’ about fake fact checker set up by official Conservative Twitter account
Dominic Raab has claimed “no-one gives a toss” about the fake Tory “fact- checking ”service set up for the TV election debate, as the party faced calls for an official investigation.
The foreign secretary faced mounting criticism after the Conservative press office Twitter account – with nearly 76, 000 followers – changed its name to ‘factcheckUK’, before pumping out support for Boris Johnson.
Welcome toThe Independent’selection liveblog, where we will be bringing you all the latest updates from the campaign throughout the day.
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