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Tories set up 'Labour manifesto' website to attack Corbyn's plans

The Guardian logo The Guardian 21/11/2019 Simon Murphy

© Reuters A website purporting to showcase Labour’s manifesto but which instead attacks the party’s policies has been set up by the Conservatives just days after the party faced criticism for misleading the public with a similar stunt.

The image tweeted by the Conservative party’s account linking to a website attacking Labour’s manifesto. © Conservative party/Twitter The image tweeted by the Conservative party’s account linking to a website attacking Labour’s manifesto. The official Tory Twitter account posted a link to the website, which displays a picture of Jeremy Corbyn looking confused, using the URL “Labourmanifesto.co.uk”.

Related: Corbyn pledges public sector pay increase and to scrap tuition fees

© Reuters The website, coloured in Labour red and registered only three days ago, states: “Labour’s 2019 manifesto … No plan for Brexit. Higher taxes. Two more referendums.”

The Conservatives had apparently paid for a Google advert which meant internet browsers were directed to the website when they searched for “Labour”.

It comes after the Conservatives prompted widespread criticism, including from Twitter, after the party rebranded one of its official accounts to make it look like a factchecking service during the ITV leaders’ debate on Wednesday evening.

The Conservative party’s Twitter account was rebranded briefly during the leaders’ debate © Twitter The Conservative party’s Twitter account was rebranded briefly during the leaders’ debate

Watch: Emily Maitlis calls out Conservatives over 'misleading' Twitter account (Mirror)

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The Conservatives unveiled their latest stunt just half an hour before Corbyn started unveiling Labour’s manifesto for the general election in Birmingham, tweeting: “Here’s everything you need to know about Labour’s Manifesto ➡️ https://labourmanifesto.co.uk 🥀 #CostOfCorbyn.”

The website states: “All you need to know about Labour’s manifesto is that Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister means higher taxes for you and your family, the chaos of two more referendums and more indecision and delay on Brexit.”

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It carries a series of attacks on Labour’s policies, displaying excerpts from reporting by media outlets showing the party in a negative light. Though it does state on the homepage that it is “a website by the Conservative party”, it still attracted strong criticism on social media.

The website states at the bottom of the homepage that it is “promoted by Alan Mabbutt on behalf of the Conservative Party”. Mabbutt is on the board of the Conservative party, serving as a senior professional member of staff.

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