'Hi Nigel': Pranksters claim Sunak sent Farage a personal New Year message

A video being shared on social media wrongly claims the prime minister sent a personalised New Year message to political rival Nigel Farage. Credit: PA

Pranksters have used a Tory marketing strategy to create a video which wrongly purports to show Rishi Sunak sending a personal New Year message to political rival Nigel Farage.

A website hosted by the Conservatives tells people they can "get a personal video from the prime minister" by providing their contact details and revealing whether the NHS, the economy or immigration is their priority.

The system is intended to then send a video showing the prime minister addressing you directly, with a nod tailored to whichever priority you selected.

But a video widely shared on social media showed Mr Sunak wishing a happy new year to someone called Nigel, before telling him: "Like you, I think immigration levels are too high."

The system was manipulated by the Guido Fawkes website, which shared the video on X, formerly Twitter, alongside the caption: "A touching and personal message to Nigel Farage."

Despite it being obvious to many people that Mr Sunak would not send Mr Farage a personalised New Year message, many social media users did seem to believe the video was genuine.

Conservative Party Press Office did not respond to requests for comment but sources have insisted the videos are not created using Artificial Intelligence.

It appears the system was set up so the Conservatives could send people campaign messages ahead of a general election expected later this year.

Labour has also stepped up its campaign advertising in recent weeks, unveiling a poster campaign this month of what it calls “Rishi’s raw deal” for taxpayers.

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The poster was unveiled on a shopfront and ad van in Wellingborough, where Labour is seeking to overturn a Tory majority in an upcoming by-election.

Local MP Peter Bone was ousted from the Conservative Party and a by-election was triggered by local voters after his suspension from the Commons for breaching the MPs’ code of conduct.

The ad is also being published online and in regional newspapers across the country.

It features a colourful image of the PM, in the style of a mock shopping deal advert.

Ahead of the poster's release, Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said: “Rishi Sunak should call an election and give the public the chance to vote for a changed Labour Party that will change Britain for the better.”

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