Government accused of spending taxpayers' money on banners featuring Tory election slogans

The Government banners bear the Conservative slogan 'long term economic plan'

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Indy Politics

The Government has been accused of "abusing" taxpayers’ money by spending it on banners featuring Conservative party election slogans.

At a speech today in London George Osborne appeared in front of banners featuring the Conservative slogan “long-term economic plan”.

The Government banners, described by Labour as “Tory propaganda”, also featured the official HM Government logo.

The Civil Service Code, which governs the actions of Britain’s central bureaucracy, states that civil servants must not “use official resources for party political purposes”.

David Cameron has described the slogan ‘Long-term economic plan’ as the Tories’ “team” message.

The party's website has a whole section headlined 'Long-term economic plan' and party whips regularly ask MPs to include the phrase in their questions at Prime Minister’s Questions.

“In politics you have go to try and have a clear message and in my team there are some messages we want to get across – we want a long term economic plan,” the Prime Minister told the makers of the Inside the Commons documentary last year.

Mr Cameron also appeared in front of similar banner in Felixtowe today.

Labour MP Graham Jones said the publicly-funded banners amounted to “Tory propaganda” at taxpayers’ expense.

“The Government seem to be abusing public funds by repeatedly using Tory slogans at official events,” he said.

“We have already seen Ministers carted around the country to campaign at taxpayers' expense, and now they are using Tory propaganda.

 

“There needs to be clarity on whether this branding is the Tories' or the Government's - it cannot continue to be used by both.”

A Conservative source hit back at the accusation, telling The Independent:

“It shows just how desperate the Labour party have become that they’re complaining that the government has a long term plan for our economy and country. Ed Miliband and Ed Balls’ only plan is to bankrupt Britain all over again."

At the time of publication Cabinet Office press office did not respond to requests for comment.

In June Labour’s then-shadow cabinet office minister Michael Dugher wrote to the Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood over the use of the slogan on other public documents.

“I have called for an investigation in to the party political use of government communications to ensure we uphold the integrity and impartiality of the civil service and prevent public funds from being misused,” he said at the time.

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