Ken Livingstone: is this the sneakiest election leaflet ever?

Ken's latest ethical campaigning tactic

On the eve of polling, a reader, Enza Ferreri, sends me something that looks like a personal note which was posted through her door. It appears to be handwritten, in blue ink on cream paper, and carries no headings or logo.

“Dear friend,” it says. “For years I was a Conservative. I voted Tory, I volunteered at election time and I even worked for the party. But this year I won’t even be voting for them…

“Don’t get me wrong. I like Boris, but he’s let us down. I used to work for the Metropolitan Police. I believed his promises about cutting crime…

“This year I’m sending a message to the Tory government that they can’t take people for granted. I won’t be voting Tory and I won’t be voting Boris.

“Yours faithfully,

Brett Harrison.”

Mr Harrison is apparently a real person – he worked for three months as a civilian receptionist at the Met – though it is hard to see how he could have worked for both the Tory Party and the police. But the real authors of the “letter” become clear when you look at the tiny (also handwritten!) writing at the side of the missive. You’ll need pretty strong glasses, mind. “Promoted by Patrick Heneghan on behalf of London Labour,” it says.

As Ms Ferreri says, the letter is so sly that it will probably have the opposite effect to that intended. “The few doubts that I still had about voting [against] Ken have gone after receiving this letter: its counterproductiveness made my choice easier,” she said.

Labour’s already resorted to removing its candidate’s name from its leaflets. It is now clearly so desperate that it is removing all mention of itself.


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