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How Political Parties Create "Grassroots" Letters To Send To Newspapers

Open letters keep appearing on front pages during the election. How do they get there, and who is responsible?

In this election there have been letter-writing campaigns all over the front pages of newspapers, including this one in Monday's Daily Telegraph.

In reality, the letter appears to have been created by CCHQ in Brady's name.

Click the link and you are taken to a landing page on the Conservative website.

However, the Conservatives appear to have forgotten to strip out data confirming they packaged the story.

Full letter from business owners on Telegraph website contains metadata showing it was authored by CCHQ. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Metadata attached to the PDF file on the Telegraph's website shows that the 5,000-strong letter was put together on a computer controlled by "CCHQ-Admin".

Coordinated letter-writing has not been an exclusively Conservative habit during this election, nor is it reserved for any newspaper in particular.

In short, absolutely everyone in politics is writing letters, they're largely stage-managed, and the signatories often come from existing core supporters.

Parties keep producing them because newspapers are willing to run stories about these letters on their front pages, and broadcasters' news agendas are guided by the same papers. It works: Monday morning's bulletins included reference to the Conservatives' small-business letter.

Still, having substantial numbers of party sympathisers willing to put their name to a public letter is not completely without merit.

But some political journalists are starting to despair.

I need 100 signatories for a letter begging political parties to stop organising supportive letters. Who's in?

@PickardJE @faisalislam it needs to be 100 people who have said the same thing before over and over again to make it newsworthy