Boris Petition Organisers Accuse Guardian of Fake News

This morning The Guardian reports senior Tories are privately dismissing the petition to reinstate Boris as PM. Despite the petition’s hosts, Conservative Post, now saying 14,000 members have signed the petition, the paper claims CCHQ sampling of 300 supporters “found fewer than half were party members”. 

“…internally, senior figures said so far the party had received about 300 messages with the text from the petition. Names were checked and fewer than half had come from people with active Conservative party memberships.”

This could be fair enough. Despite the petition form requiring signatories to input their Conservative membership number before signing, backers can merely enter ‘0’ if they don’t know said information…

Editor Claire Bullivant, however, has raised questions over the allegation. Bullivant claims she called CCHQ yesterday morning to confess they had been ‘hacked’ by left wingers, who had sent 300 – the same number cited in The Guardian – fake petitions in, and reassured the party they were on it and clearing out any fake supporters. This flurry of fake supporters coincided with lefty talking head Marina Perkiss encouraging her Twitter followers to spam it…

By coincidence, this 300 fake signatures confession from Conservative Post to CCHQ then found its way into the pages of The Guardian, albeit reframed to cast doubt about the wider petition numbers.

Guido understands Conservative Post want to double-check the current signatories before declaring they’ve passed the 15,000 mark, and have introduced a new email verification stage to put off some of the lazier lefty trouble makers. Guido’s still not entirely sure what the likes of Marina Purkiss have to gain from interfering in the process, bar a never-ending obsession with everything Boris…

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