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  1. ITV Report

Tories deny breaking election law using Welsh market research firm

A call centre worker Credit: PA images

The Conservative party has denied breaching data protection law during the general election campaign, after Channel 4 claims to have uncovered secret footage of a Welsh call centre hired to directly contact voters in marginal seats.

According to the programme the Conservatives hired Blue Telecoms, a firm in Neath in South Wales to call voters during the campaign.

The Tories said the company was hired to carry out legal market research and direct marketing. But Channel 4 News claimed workers may have been carrying out paid canvassing because they pushed what appeared to be key Tory messages to undecided voters, which is banned under electoral law.

One of the call scripts, seen below, was quoted in the programme.

It was reported in the Daily Mirror in September last year the Jeremy Corbyn is not concerned about the numbers of people coming to live in the UK and it was reported on Sky News this year that Theresa May has restarted her pledge to reduce net migration.

Just thinking about these reports in the media and the reports that you live in a marginal constituency that may determine who is prime minister... Does that make you more likely to back Theresa May or more likely to vote for Jeremy Corbyn?

– Call Script

Plaid Cymru has called for a police investigation to be carried out into the claims.

These are extremely serious allegations of potentially unlawful activity by the Conservative party. If they are true, then it seems as though the Conservatives may have been trying to manipulate people into voting for them by lying about who they are and why they are contacting them.

At a time when a Conservative candidate from the last UK election was being charged over illegal practices in 2015, it seems as though the Conservatives were continuing to use shady electoral tactics. The Conservative party has clearly got a problem with dishonest campaigning.

It seems UK elections have become dominated by dodgy practices over recent years. I hope that the police investigate the allegations made by Channel 4 thoroughly.

– Dai Lloyd AM, Plaid Cymru, South Wales West

The Conservative Party has denied the claims.

Political parties of all colours pay for market research and direct marketing calls. All the scripts supplied by the party for these calls are compliant with data protection and information law.

– A Conservative spokesman