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Labour Reports Tory Candidate To The Police Over A Dodgy Photoshop

The Tory candidate found himself in trouble after tweeting a picture that appeared to show Labour asking voters if they would vote Labour if they were given a free sweet.

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Labour has reported a Conservative candidate to the police for tweeting a doctored photo.

Oliver Cooper, a council candidate in Hampstead Town, tweeted the image above, which appeared to show that the Labour party in Brigg and Goole was trying to tempt voters with sweets. Cooper's tweet was retweeted by nearly 50 users.Now, Labour have asked the police to investigate Cooper, also an organiser for the general election campaign in Hampstead and Kilburn, to see if he is in breach of electoral rules.A spokesperson for Jacky Crawford, Labour's candidate in Brigg & Goole, said: "We have reported this to the police as it is clearly a deliberate attempt to give the impression that the Labour party is ‘treating’ voters, which they will be well aware is banned by the Representation of the People Act. “We are of the view that the doctoring of this image might itself be a breach of the same act, and have asked the police to investigate."
Twitter

Oliver Cooper, a council candidate in Hampstead Town, tweeted the image above, which appeared to show that the Labour party in Brigg and Goole was trying to tempt voters with sweets. Cooper's tweet was retweeted by nearly 50 users.

Now, Labour have asked the police to investigate Cooper, also an organiser for the general election campaign in Hampstead and Kilburn, to see if he is in breach of electoral rules.

A spokesperson for Jacky Crawford, Labour's candidate in Brigg & Goole, said: "We have reported this to the police as it is clearly a deliberate attempt to give the impression that the Labour party is ‘treating’ voters, which they will be well aware is banned by the Representation of the People Act.

“We are of the view that the doctoring of this image might itself be a breach of the same act, and have asked the police to investigate."

The problem is that the picture tweeted by Cooper was a Photoshopped version of the image below.

On Saturday, the party ran a street school and asked members of the public whether they could survive on a zero-hours contract. Most said that they couldn't.The Labour spokesperson said: "The Tories are so void of anything positive to offer the electorate at this election they are resorting to desperate dirty tricks like this – you have to wonder how, in an election campaign, they have nothing better to be doing with their time."
Twitter

On Saturday, the party ran a street school and asked members of the public whether they could survive on a zero-hours contract. Most said that they couldn't.

The Labour spokesperson said: "The Tories are so void of anything positive to offer the electorate at this election they are resorting to desperate dirty tricks like this – you have to wonder how, in an election campaign, they have nothing better to be doing with their time."

A number of people thought the image was real, especially as the photoshopping appeared to be fairly well done, including adding a reflection on to the doctored Labour sign.

. @OliverCooper And this tells you everything you need to know about Labour buying votes with freebies not policies

Cooper said the picture was photoshopped by a local Twitter account well-known for satire.

"I thought it was a clearly satirical photo when I tweeted," he said. "It was doctored by a local account – Scunthorpe Tourist – and I thought it was obviously satirical and I tweeted it."

"When people asked me whether it was true, I said no, very clearly, and I have deleted it now that people have a concern with it."

Cooper accused Labour of "wasting police time" and said the party should have spoken to him before reporting him to the police.

"It's just a shame that the first call should be to waste police time," he said.

"[That it appeared to be obviously satirical is] why I posted it without comment.

"I clearly said it was not real and today was the first time, three days later, of anyone taking it seriously. and as a result I'm a bit perplexed why their first call was to the police rather than to me."

He also issued an apology to anyone who thought the image was not satirical. He said: "I apologise to anyone that was misled into thinking it was real. I thought the intent was clear that it was satirical."

Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Siraj Datoo at siraj.datoo@buzzfeed.com.

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