Fury Over Shaun Bailey 'Dossier'

Tories claim use of material in leaflets proves Labour link

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Election 2006 in Hammersmith and Fulham

The local Conservative party is accusing their Labour rivals of involvement in the production of a dossier of information which they say is an attempt to smear their prospective candidate for the Hammersmith constituency.

The anonymously authored 'dossier' contains information designed to undermine the credibility of local Conservative rising star, Shaun Bailey. It is entitled “Shaun Bailey – A Phenomenon or a Fake?” and makes use of selective quotations from the prospective parliamentary candidate for the Hammersmith constituency and calls into question the validity of his charity work. Its existence was brought to public attention on the Black Information Link web site in an article by Lester Holloway who used to be a leading member of the local Labour Party but endorsed the Conservatives before the last election.

The Conservatives are claiming that the use of some of the quotes in local Labour campaign material proves that it was produced by the Labour Party or a group closely associated with it. The Labour Party have flatly denied any involvement with its production and say that the quotes used were taken directly from an article written by Shaun Bailey for the Centre for Policy Studies.

Greg Hands MP said, “Shaun Bailey clearly has Labour rattled in Hammersmith. Slaughter and Labour need to learn that the people of Hammersmith will want to see a fair fight – not smears and negative campaigning.”

Mr Hands says he has written to Labour's neighbouring MP Andrew Slaughter asking for an explanation as to why material from the dossier is appearing in his party's campaign material. Mr. Slaughter denies receiving any communication on this matter. He pointed out that despite Conservative claims that the leaflet entitled “The True Face of Hammersmith’s Conservatives” was issued to promote him, he is not mentioned in it.

Mr. Bailey claims that all of the quotes are highly selective and taken out of context in an attempt to undermine his appeal amongst black voters in particular. The leaflet in question appears to have been specifically targeted at the Edward Woods Estate, which has a high concentration of black voters.

Andrew Slaughter is currently the MP for Ealing, Acton and Shepherd's Bush and will be contesting the new Hammersmith seat, which incorporates some of his old constituency, with Shaun Bailey at the next election.

November 8, 2007