Downing Street wheeled out Eric Pickles last night to stick the boot into the Vote Leave campaign, hyperbolically blasting the pro-Brexit student protesters as being part of a “nasty… strategy of intimidation“. Pickles is calling on the Electoral Commission to deny Vote Leave the official Leave campaign designation:
“I believe the actions of Vote Leave in disrupting the CBI conference and declaring a strategy of intimidation and protest disqualify Vote Leave from being a designated lead campaigner in the forthcoming EU referendum campaign.”
That would be the same Eric Pickles who was the subject of a complaint by the Cabinet Secretary to David Cameron after his SpAds were accused of behaving “unacceptably” by briefing against a senior public servant.
The same Tory party that openly called on its youth wing to deliberately “form our own publicity stunt” and disrupt Gordon Brown’s announcement of Labour’s election slogan back in 2010.
The same Tories who sent CCHQ staffers to Trafalgar Square to hold up ‘Vote for Change’ placards for the television cameras as Gordon made his way down Pall Mall to see the Queen.
The same Tories who followed Miliband around with Salmond and Sturgeon masks during the election, facing allegations that anti-Labour protesters shoved the then Labour leader.
The same Tories who snuck a Conservative activist into Question Time to lay into Miliband on prime time television.
If arranging for two teenagers to hold up a banner during a speech is “nasty”, what does that make the Tories’ own campaign tactics?