Liars! Tory council boss threatens Lib Dems


Ken Thornber, the Conservative Leader of Hampshire County Council, has called on local Lib Dems to withdraw ‘untrue statements’ about the County Council printed in election leaflets being circulated by Lib Dems’ in Botley and Hedge End.

The Lib Dems have been distributing a newspaper style leaflet called ‘The Voice’ and  under a headline entitled ‘Outrage’ the Lib Dems appear to claim that the Conservatives had planned to build 6,000 houses in the area but were thwarted by Lib Dems ‘who stood up’ against the plans.

The ‘SDA’ housing plan referred to was actually scrapped in 2010 by the Coalition government and not by Lib Dem Controlled Eastleigh Council.

The Voice also claims that the Conservative County Council are proposing to build on land they do not actually own at Tanhouse Lane – which Ken Thornber denies.

Local Blogger and Eastleigh News contributor Ray Turner first highlighted the issue in his ‘Hedge End Independent’ blog.

Ken Thornber

Ken Thornber

In a strongly worded and unprecedented press release Ken Thornber said tonight:

“I have been handed copies of electioneering literature being widely circulated across Eastleigh Borough that wrongly accuses the Conservative run Hampshire County Council of a number of things including, trying ‘to build 6.000 more houses around Hedge End and Botley’. This is totally untrue.

“The literature also wrongly accuses the County Council of wanting to sell land, it does not own, for housing development.

“These allegations are clearly being made in an attempt to mislead the electorate into voting for their candidates in the forthcoming Borough Elections.”

The Tory leader goes on to say he will complain to the Electoral Commission if the Lib Dems do not retract the allegations:

“Unless they immediately retract these statements and deliver these retractions to every household in the Borough that has received them before polling day, I shall have no alternative but to refer the matter to the Electoral Commission for their adjudication.”

It is an offence, in certain circumstances, to publish false statements on election literature. The electoral commission has the power to fine parties and candidates and even declare elections null and void as they did in 2010 over a campaign leaflet distributed by former Labour MP Phil Woolas. 

In last year’s local elections the leader of Eastleigh Independent group complained to the police and the Returning Officer that a Lib Dem leaflets delivered in Central Eastleigh had falsely claimed that candidate Keith Trenchard was an ‘experienced councillor’.

This year there has already been a complaint to the returning officer from the Labour Party concerning the use of EBC email addresses by sitting Lib Dem councillors on their election literature contrary to Electoral Commission guidelines.

see also:

Lib Dems face email complaint

Independents lodge complaint

More posts on the Local Elections

Ken Thornber pic by Ben Hatton

Press Release from Ken Thornber 30-4-2012

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  23 comments for “Liars! Tory council boss threatens Lib Dems

  1. Stephen Slominski
    April 30, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Over to you Keith…

  2. April 30, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Interesting to see the very same headline being used here in Chandlers Ford, but with three differet Lib Dems… not looking very outraged at all.

    Also, the smaller headline says..No to even more traffic in our mention of building.

    Probably because between the Libs and Cons, they have concreted Chandlers Ford over.

    • April 30, 2012 at 11:53 pm

      I have felt that the Lib Dem Councillors look embarrassed in these pictures, as though they know they’re being set up for this sort of headline by the campaign managers and the negative publicity that will accompany it…

      There’s one of Cllr Kyrle in particular, stood by the sign in Tanhouse Lane, where he really doesn’t look at all happy with the campaign stunt.

      Perhaps it is time for the decent Lib Dems (yes, there are some!) to plot a coup, then reject their leader and campaign managers…

      • mm
        Eastleigh Xpress
        May 1, 2012 at 12:26 am

        Well done Ray – see what you started? 😆

        • May 1, 2012 at 1:17 am

          I’m pleased that Cllr Thornber has clarified the situation.

          It was rather one-sided until this evening, with the Lib Dems having a free-run at the Tories.

          I wonder what Downing Street and the national media will make of the coalition partners falling out like this, in Hampshire…?

      • May 1, 2012 at 8:30 am

        Last year’s version of this election deception included Chris Huhne in the picture. Have the local lib dems finally disowned him?

  3. Sam Snook
    April 30, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Focus delivered to ALL homes
    in OUR town year after year
    NO other political party can
    match our all year round
    Sam Snook

  4. pianoman
    April 30, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Go get ’em, Ken! What took you so long?

  5. Vocal Local
    May 1, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Well done to RAY TURNER, along with Keith Day. another of Hedge End’s worthy Independents, for exposing this story. We need more people like you Ray. Keep up the good work!

  6. Paul Redding
    May 1, 2012 at 9:36 am

    So what about all the people that have been fooled by the Lib Dem literature and already sent their postal vote back?

    • pianoman
      May 1, 2012 at 10:16 am

      Good point. Perhaps they should march on the Civic Offices. So many lies nothing about their policies – are they ashamed of what they’re doing at EBC i.e. their policies? Perhaps Eastleighnews could make a list of all lies told during this campaign on all sides so we can see who has the longest nose.

    • May 1, 2012 at 6:15 pm

      Good point Paul. That’s why I don’t want a postal vote. I like to see all of the campaigning before casting my vote.

      But turnout in the local elections, including postal votes, is usually well below 50%.

      So if there’s a really good turnout at the Polling stations on Thursday, the postal votes from people who have been duped by the Lib Dems could be overturned.

      It requires everybody to get out and vote though…

  7. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    May 1, 2012 at 10:56 am

    “what about all the people that have been fooled by the Lib Dem literature and already sent their postal vote back?”

    “Good point. Perhaps they should march on the Civic Offices”

    Now what was it the students sang outside Chris Huhne’s office?


  8. May 1, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Why has it taken so long for the people of Eastleigh and HCC to wake up to the lies and fake policy of the local Fib Dems. Year after year they hack down trees to stuff your letterbox with ream after ream of leaflets full of untruth and misinformation and yet claim to be tackling the climate change. You can not tackle climate change if you cut down trees. Why is no one looking at the vast amounts of money the Fib Dems are sliding under the table to support the PointLESS in Eastleigh. Over 2.6 million pounds in the last 4 years has been taken from Developer Funds to keep the doors open, when this money is meant to go into projects to enhance life for local residents. Yet only 3.27% of Eastleigh Residents use or visit the PointLESS. 32 million pounds of OUR money being gambled, yes gambled, on a plan to build a hotel. 2 million pounds of OUR money used to paint a town center car park so WE can pay more money to use it. A much loved and well used Ballroom forced to close by OUR council so they could use the building for a youth centre, at a cost of 1.7 million pounds, that now only opens for 3 days a week and has seen a 480% increase in Town Centre Anti Social Behavior problems as a result. So whats next, well lets start with the planned HUGE supermarket that we are told Sainsbury want to build on OUR recreation ground. Well, here we go again, another Fib Dem lie. Sainsbury’s Press and Communications officer has publicly said that this is nothing to do with Sainsbury’s what so ever.! This is a Eastleigh Borough Council project from start to finish, we are just being offered the building once its built by the Fib Dems to rent after Tesco turned the offer down.

    Wake up EASTLEIGH please! Don’t vote stupidly just because the Fib Dems think you are stupid enough to believe their lies.

  9. david Knowles
    May 1, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    The LibDems are a disease in Eastleigh.All the leaflets they put out brainwash the electorat.And who pays for all their colourful leaflets.As Mathew says above,Wake up Eastleigh!

  10. Charlie
    May 2, 2012 at 12:14 am

    Matthew, I’d like to read Sainsbury’s press release quoted by you. Is there a link to it anywhere? I’ve looked at the web site, owned by Sainsbury’s (or GKA, their Public relations agency), and it clearly refers to “Our proposals for Eastleigh Town Centre.” and “Sainsbury’s proposals to regenerate and revitalise the Leigh Road area of Eastleigh…” That would suggest the idea has come from the company rather than the council.

    • Stephen Slominski
      May 2, 2012 at 11:45 am

      There were two reports commissioned by EBC in 2008 and 2011 into a retail led plan to regenerate Eastleigh Town centre.
      As is often pointed out on this site the Town Centre is decaying and doing nothing is not an option.
      The reports were by two separate independent expert retail development planners.
      Both concluded that a strong, modern big name ’anchor’ store was needed to bring more visitors into Eastleigh and specifically to prevent leaking local shoppers to Asda which is regarded as an ‘out of town’ site.
      A site in Barton Park (there is plenty of vacant space there) was considered then rejected as it would suck shoppers away from town centre.
      Tesco was then invited to redevelop their Swan Centre site which they declined.
      Sainsbury’s were interested because it matches their ambitions to expand their non-food range and online shopping services.
      Both retail reports noted that the only space available in the Town Centre for development was the rec — which happens to be next door to Sainsbury’s.
      It also happens that the Rec is owned by the Council…and they also own the building and land that Sainsbury’s currently occupy!
      So it really is a case that the council are preparing to grant themselves planning permission to allow Sainsbury’s to redevelop their Town centre site for them.
      In return they will get civic improvements to the town centre funded by the Supermarket.
      It’s clear that the ruling party in Eastleigh view the rec as expendable for the ‘greater good’ and should not be entrusted with its stewardship.
      The rec should be placed into trust to protect it for the people of Eastleigh safe from the ambitious plans of ALL politicians.
      I should add Sainsbury’s have to extend their footprint over the rec – which according to them will remove 5,000 sq feet of park and 47 trees and shrubs – in order to accommodate their home delivery and click and collect service.
      The extra goods and customer traffic that this new aspect of their business will generate will bring no value to the town, just more pollution and congestion and would be better relocated on one of our half-empty trading estates. There is no reason why we still can’t still get a new large improved Sainsbury’s anchor store without the need to concrete over the park to fit in extra loading bays

  11. rigel
    May 2, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    hey folks,

    the lib dems propoganda disgusts me, In their ‘newsletter’ they describe sitting councillors as ‘campaigners’to give the impression that they are underdogs battling for local issues.

    They do this ‘Labour can’t win here’ thing and it is a disgrace, by framing it as a 2 horse race people opt for lib dems rather than Torys – Why can’t labour win here? is there something they are not telling us about the election?

    The pictures of councillors with some mums roped into a photo op outside a nursery blaming torys for the cuts reminds me of the ‘populist squadrism’ of Mussolini.

    These tactics belie thier desperation, they have lost all honour – really we need to ambush them with questions and upload to youtube – up for it anyone ?


    • Stephen Slominski
      May 2, 2012 at 1:49 pm

      I knew you would snap eventually!
      Yes I agree, some of the mendacious manipulation on display is more than flesh and blood can stand.
      If you do any videos then I’ll post them up here – that’s what ‘citizen journalism’ is all about!
      TBH all this smug ‘Labour can’t win here’ shtick only makes me more inclined to vote Labour.

    • May 2, 2012 at 1:56 pm

      Please do not accept the “Labour can not win here” being spread around by the Fib Dems. On polling day EVERYONE has a chance to win. The votes start at zero and everyone has the same chance as everyone else, the only way Labour, UKIP or The Greens can not win is if people do not vote for them or are brainwashed into voting for the Fib Dems by beveling their lies. If you want to see real change in Eastleigh, YOU have to be the change you want to see. Don’t vote, and you suffer from what others believe. Make your voice heard and make YOUR vote count.

  12. pianoman
    May 2, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Anyone know why the Daily Echo and other local media haven’t run this story about the FibDems? By the way, the BSkyB / politician thing has been interesting hasn’t it?

    • May 2, 2012 at 9:41 pm

      The Daily Echo will not run negative stories about the Fib Dems in Eastleigh because there is a very long standing financial arrangement between the Fib Dems and News-quest, the owners of the Daily Echo. This site has covered and questioned this arrangement many times.

  13. May 3, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    All the usual devious ‘ploy’s are put into practice by certain parties at election times,But It is WE the voting public who must now more than ever before go and place our vote, so that those who lie or cheat their way into a position of ‘top of the tree’ will find that the branches are not as stable as they had expected, and they will start to crack under the pressure of deceit, we only have to look at Chris Huhne and his lack of public appearances since the flaws in his honesty started to show.

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