Tory minister wants to ‘look again’ at rules surrounding tactical voting campaigns

Conservative minister Robert Buckland. Photograph: BBC.

Conservative minister Robert Buckland. Photograph: BBC. - Credit: BBC

A Tory minister says he wants to 'look again' at the campaigning rules behind tactical voting and the materials produced for it.

Tory justice secretary Robert Buckland said that there was something 'sinister' behind the campaign to stop Conservative candidates winning in the election.

He claimed that he had seen leaflets urging people to vote tactically which did not include the legal 'imprint' which advises who had produced the material.

"There's an orchestrated campaign going on in some seats, so-called tactical voting and very negative, unattributed literature going out about Conservative candidates," he told LBC Radio.

"No imprint on them," he said. "No way of working out who is publishing it. This is frankly a little bit sinister."

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The minister added that they could "look again" at the campaigning rules on the matter.

He said: "I've seen evidence of leaflets, listing things about Conservative candidates that might be construed as negative.

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"Clearly, negative campaigning against Conservatives as part of a tactical-voting operation."

But Buckland insisted it was more about imprints on leaflets, explaining: "I think some of it very much hits the border. If you haven't got an imprint - who it is printed and published by - you can't be responsible.

"There is no accountability of what is said."

He added: "That's what I am talking about, is this sort of unattributed, sort of cloak and dagger, third party stuff that none of us can regulate. I do think that after this election we do need to consider again how the rules are policed."

Earlier Boris Johnson said "sophisticated" efforts were being made to stop a Tory majority.

"The danger of another hung parliament is clear and present. There are sophisticated and well-financed attempts under way to prevent a Conservative majority through tactical voting," he claimed.

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