Tories accused of 'misleading' voters by rebranding X account 'Tax Check UK'
CCHQ changed its press account during the BBC election debate between Sir Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak. Credit: @CCHQPress/X

By James Hockaday

During Wednesday's general election debate, Rishi Sunak repeatedly said Sir Keir Starmer was "not being straight" with voters and that integrity matters in politics.

But that same evening, as the two leaders battled it out on the BBC, Conservative Party HQ faced accusations of misleading the public by rebranding its official press account on X as "Tax Check UK".

While CCHQ does include "by the Conservatives" in the profile's bio, it would be possible for users to see its posts without reading the description.

Labour has disputed many of the claims made by the Tories about Sir Keir's tax plans – particularly the highly-contested suggestion that taxes will be raised by £2,000 for every working family.

The account rebrand has attracted criticism by fact checking website Full Fact, which in a statement on X said: "We've written to @Conservatives to ask them to remove the 'Tax Check UK' rebrand of @CCHQPress. This misrepresents posts on the account as an impartial fact checking service. Voters deserve better."

The Tories' claim that Labour want to raise taxes for every household by £2,000 has been challenged by fact checkers. Credit: X/@CCHQPress

Full Fact also said it had written to the Tory party "asking them to stop repeating their ongoing claim about Labour’s taxation plans".

This isn't the first time the Conservatives have been accused of misleading the public via social media, with the party facing a rebuke from the Electoral Commission in 2019 for renaming the CCHQ Twitter account to "FactcheckUK".

"History repeating, first as tragedy then as farce. No wonder people don’t trust politicians," investigative journalist Peter Geoghegan posted.

Media personality and former Countdown presenter Carol Vorderman added: "Tax Check UK is trending because it’s the Tory party press office pretending that it’s an independent verifier. "Spread the word . Tax Check UK is officially yet more Tory lies."

Journalist Alex Tiffin added: "CCHQ Press have renamed their Twitter account to "Tax Check UK". @X should suspend them for being misleading."

ITV News has contacted CCHQ for comment.

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