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Conservative Party

Tories warned over Neath call centre election use

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has warned the Conservative party over the use of scripts during the general election campaign.

The ICO has said that small parts of the script used crossed the line into unlawful direct marketing.

However, the ICO have stopped short of taking any further action, and are waiting for the Conservative party to comment.

A blog on the ICO’s website confirmed the findings, stating: “We’ve found that two small sections of the written scripts used by those making the calls crossed the line from legitimate market research to unlawful direct marketing,” before adding: “We’ve warned the Conservative Party to get it right next time.”

The blog also goes on to say: “We’ve stopped short of formal regulatory action because the overall campaign was genuine market research.

“The two sections we had concerns about were not enough to trigger formal enforcement action when considered along with the campaign as a whole.

“In addition, the results of the survey were not saved against any individual so they could not be targeted for future marketing.”

The Conservative Party initially denied it broke electoral law by using the Blue Telecoms call centre, after an undercover Channel 4 News report claimed workers may have been carrying out paid canvassing.

Police are still carrying out investigations into the claims.

‘Significant’ investigation into Tory call centre allegations

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

South Wales Police have confirmed they are carrying out a ‘significant’ investigation of the Blue Telecoms call centre which operated on behalf of the Conservative party in the run up to the general election.

An undercover investigation by Channel 4 at the Blue Telecoms call centre in South Wales claimed that the centre broke data protection and election law.

Thousands of calls were made to voters in marginal seats in the weeks leading up to the election. Workers read from scripts, with calls made on the day of the election promoting individual candidates, which could break election law.

South Wales Police confirmed the investigation in a letter to Labour MP Wayne David.

“Rest assured that the officers within this department have the required specialist skills and expertise for this often challenging area of business and will, as with all investigations, act in a diligent and expeditious manner,” the letter said.

Mr David, Labour MP for Caerphilly, said: “I am pleased that both the police and the Information Commissioner’s Office are conducting detailed investigations.

“The allegations that the Conservative Party and Blue Telecoms broke electoral law during a general election campaign are extremely serious and the public need to have confidence in our electoral process. That is fundamental to our democracy.”

A spokesman for South Wales Police said: “South Wales Police is currently reviewing information received in regards to Blue Telecoms.

“It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

Conservative Party

Conservative Party denies call centre breached election law

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The Conservative Party has denied claims that it used a Neath call centre to canvass voters during the general election.

 A Channel 4 investigation claimed that Blue Telecoms conducted marketing campaigns ahead of the general election, under contract of the Conservative Party. Paid canvassing is banned under electoral law.

The investigation claims that workers promoted Conservative messages to undecided voters in key marginal seats, including Clwyd South Wrexham, Gower and Bridgend.

 The Information Commissioners Officer confirmed it would be asking the Tories about the calls.

 A Conservative Party spokesperson said all calls were compliant with the law, and that “Political parties of all colours pay for market research and direct marketing calls.

 “All the scripts supplied by the party for these calls are compliant with data protection and information law.”

 “We will be asking the Conservative Party about the marketing campaigns conducted from this call centre,” a spokesperson for the Information Commissioner’s Office said.

Vote Paper

Secret Conservative Party call centre may have broken the law

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Channel 4 news has alleged that the Conservative Party ran a secret call centre during the general election, with call centre workers contacting people on election day informing them of specific Tory candidates and urging them to vote.

The call centre based in Neath belongs to Blue Telecoms, although an undercover journalist was told to tell callers the company was called ‘Axe Research.’

Marginal Welsh constituencies were targeted by the call centre, where Conservative messages were read out by script. It is also claimed that people who had opted out of receiving cold calls could also have been contacted illegally.

The Conservative Party has denied breaking any laws and said that the cal centre was “conducting simple market research ahead of the June 8th vote.”

Speaking to Metro.co.uk, a spokesperson for the Conservative Party said: “Political parties of all colours pay for market research and direct marketing calls.

“All the scripts supplied by the party for these calls are compliant with data protection and information law.”