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Information Commissioner’s Office

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.

Call Centre

Staff left ‘unpaid’ as call centre fined £270,000

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Staff at a call centre claim they have been left unpaid after the company was handed one of the biggest fines in consumer history for making nuisance calls.

Basingstoke-based Media Tactics was fined £270,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in March for making 22 million nuisance phone calls to members of the public.

The ICO said Media Tactics had left some consumers “too frightened to answer any calls at all.”

In an interview with the Basingstoke Gazette, a staff member described how employees had been told on March 29th that they wouldn’t be getting paid.

“The manager just said it was because of the fine that the company had to go into liquidation. There [were] about 40 staff in the meeting and we were all let go.

“In the recent weeks, we had been asked to take a 10% pay cut to help the company and to stop redundancies happening. It’s awful really for those people who have worked at the company for years.”

The fine was handed out to Media Tactics after the ICO found that the company did not have permission to make automated marketing calls, which played a recorded message, to people who had not agreed to receiving them.

182 complaints were made against Media Tactics on the ICO’s online reporting tool.

A spokesperson for the ICO said: “While, in some respects, it marks a frustrating end to our investigations it’s worth noting that when nuisance call companies go out of business, they stop making calls. And that’s a successful outcome.”

The fine was one of the biggest ever given to a call centre by the ICO for making nuisance calls.