Attempting to re-focus the campaign on the economy, the Tories have kicked the day off with a letter ostensibly from small businesses. It splashes the Telegraph and is co-ordinated by CCHQ, natch:
Full letter from business owners on Telegraph website contains metadata showing it was authored by CCHQ. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ pic.twitter.com/sOMV86Aqo1
— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) April 26, 2015
This is very clearly pitched as being a letter from “small business owners” on behalf of the firms they own — so why do some signatories appear to own, errrr, zero shares in the relevant companies?
“The firms, which employ nearly 100,000 people across the country, have signed a letter which states that they “would like to see David Cameron and George Osborne given the chance to finish what they have started”.
Scrapbook’s non-comprehensive examination of the latest Companies House filings for the first fifty signatories (PDF) throws up:
- 13: Andres Mesa-Cruz, a ‘sales director’ who didn’t found and apparently doesn’t own a single share in the company
- 26: Robert Brunton is listed as an ‘associate’ of 414 Timber and Fencing, which perhaps explains why he isn’t a director of and doesn’t own any shares in the company
- 39: A D Planning Services Ltd has no director or shareholder called Alex Brookes-Ball
- 40: ‘HR and EHS Manager’ Nicola Knight is not a director of, nor does she own shares in, Oscroft & Sons
This would appear to suggest two things: that this is a letter signed by individuals possibly without with the authorisation or even knowledge of the businesses concerned; and secondly that some of the signatories … don’t actually own a business!
Top due diligence from Tory HQ.
UPDATE: The comedy has begun. Signatories include ‘Stanley Ward Conservative Club’ and a business asking their names to be removed:
.@Telegraph Our Sales Director did not sign the letter in support of the Conservative Party. Please remove signatory 413 immediately.
— Aurum Solutions (@AurumSolutions) April 27, 2015