With less than a month to go to the local elections, Shropshire Conservatives have withdrawn the printed edition of their election manifesto (it’s still here online). This follows my discovery that an image that purported to be of Conservative supporters was lifted without permission from an Australian charity website. The image shows the staff of a mental health charity from Tasmania and Queensland. It is a typical workplace photograph and was taken on 28 June 2013.
The BBC is reporting that the Conservatives have now formally apologised to the charity and have promised to no longer distribute the leaflet.
I cannot believe any political party would use a photo from a charity without permission. Even as local politicians, we must obey election law to the letter. It defies belief that the Conservatives decided to use an image of charity workers on the other side of the world, rather than a photo of their own supporters.
This is a real low in Shropshire’s local politics.
We all have different perspectives on what needs to be done in Shropshire. But we should never walk away from being honest. By using a picture of hard working mental health workers on the other side of the planet, Shropshire Conservatives have brought local politics into serious disrepute. Our county deserves better than this.