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Conservative MP Andrea Jenkyns has put Nigel Farage on her ‘Misleading’ Campaign Leaflets and Electoral Authorities say There’s Nothing They can do About it

The leaflets give voters the false impression that she has been endorsed by the Reform UK leader

Andrea Jenkyn’s leaflets were described as “misleading” by independent fact checkers

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A Conservative MP who is sending out leaflets which do not feature her own party name, but do feature Reform UK leader Nigel Farage, will not face any action from the official elections regulator.

The leaflets, which give voters the impression that Jenkyns’ is either a Reform UK candidate, or that Farage’s party has endorsed her candidacy, were sent out without any mention of the Conservative Party on them.

Responding to the leaflets, independent fact-checking organisation Full Fact described them as “misleading” and warned that “this kind of tactic causes long-term damage to trust in politics”.

However, a spokesperson for the official elections watchdog, the Electoral Commission, said that they have no powers to regulate campaign leaflets.

Reform has denied co-operating with Jenkyns’, who has publicly criticised the party for choosing to stand in her Morley and Outwood seat.

However, the leaflets have raised questions about so-called ‘joint campaigning’. Under the law candidates and parties face restrictions and spending limits around when they work together on a joint campaign.

A spokesperson for the Electoral Commission said, “There are restrictions on joint campaigning for or against parties or categories of candidate, but the law on campaigning for a candidate is different. 

“Anyone (including another candidate) can spend up to £700 on local campaigning for a candidate. If candidates were working together on spending to promote both their candidacies, they would need to split the spending so that it was reflected in both of their spending returns.”

Jenkyns’ leaflets come after she and three other Conservative candidates also took £5,000 donations from the Reclaim party in exchange for backing their policies.

Under the law, the police do have some limited powers to act on campaign literature.

This week the Conservative candidate for Beckenham and Penge, Hannah Gray, was forced to withdraw her own leaflets due to them featuring images of a local police superintendent – which is against electoral law.

The police do also have powers to act if candidates put out false statements about other candidates and their character. However, parties are free under the law to make entirely false statements about their rivals’ policies.

This loophole has been taken advantage of by the Conservative party, with their candidate in the recent London Mayoral elections sending out leaflets falsely telling Londoners that Sadiq Khan would hit them with driving charge notices unless they handed over their details to the Conservative party.

Jenkyns’ leaflets have caused a backlash from some Conservative politicians. 

Outgoing Conservative MP Charles Walker told LBC that they were “not acceptable” and “disloyal” and urged her to join the Reform party instead.

“I think if Andrea feels so disappointed in the Conservative Party, which she does, she should have stood for Reform, and Nigel Farage and Mr Tice would have welcomed her into Reform.”

Walker added that it was now “too late” to remove her as a Conservative candidate, given nominations have now closed.

Responding to complaints about the leaflets, Jenkyns posted on Twitter that “Lots of excitement over my leaflet today… All conservatives must be prepared to come together to prevent a socialist supermajority and the end of Britain as we know it.”

The Conservative Party were contacted for comment.

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