Labour ads slammed as users battle claims against Rishi Sunak

Labour attack ads slammed on Twitter as users on the site tag posters with context to battle against ‘gutter politics’ claims made against Rishi Sunak

  • ‘Important context’ was added to two of party’s ‘gutter politics’ posts by users

The row over Labour’s attack adverts intensified yesterday as the controversial posters came under fire from Twitter.

‘Important context’ was added to two of the party’s ‘gutter politics’ posts, explaining that the claims made do not stack up.

The first ad, shared on Twitter by Labour last week, suggested Rishi Sunak does not believe adults convicted of sexually assaulting children should go to prison.

It had context added to explain that ‘magistrates and judges determine sentences, not partisan politicians, following guidelines’.

The annotation also cited ONS figures showing that most offenders were sentenced to immediate custody for child rape offences in 2018.

Labour came under fire from its own supporters on Thursday when it posted the first of its attack adverts on Twitter (pictured here)

Pictured here is another one of the attack adverts posted on Thursday by the Labour Party

Subsequent posters have suggested the Prime Minister does not believe thieves should be punished, nor that adults convicted of possessing a gun should go to prison.

The tweet on gun crime also had context added, stating: ‘Tweet implies that the PM doesn’t support prison sentences for possession of a gun with intent to harm. Current maximum sentences for all firearms offences are custodial.’ 

It also notes: ‘Sentencing in individual criminal cases is the responsibility of the independent judiciary, not the PM.’

The original tweets triggered a furious backlash – including from Labour MPs. But Labour yesterday posted another ad attacking Mr Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty’s former non-dom tax status. 

It asked: ‘Do you think it’s right to raise taxes for working people when your family benefited from a tax loophole? Rishi Sunak does.’

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves yesterday defended the ads, saying: ‘I’m not going to make any apology for highlighting the dire record of this Conservative Government and this Conservative Prime Minister.’

But senior frontbenchers – including Angela Rayner, Yvette Cooper and David Lammy – have declined to share the crime adverts. 

And over the weekend it emerged that Ms Cooper, the shadow home secretary in charge of Labour’s crime policy, was not consulted about the campaign.

She has since shared party leader Sir Keir Starmer’s article for the Daily Mail, in which he said he stood by ‘every word’ Labour has said about the Tories’ record on crime.

More ads are planned, and a Labour source told The Times yesterday: ‘This has been a triumph. We’ve spent a week not talking about boats, not talking about trans or the other issues the Conservatives want to talk about – we’ve been talking about what we want to talk about.’

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