General Election 2015: 5000-strong letter from small businesses supporting Cameron used signature without consent

Aurum Solutions has since tweeted that the Telegraph has removed their name from the list of signatories, but it still appears on the paper's online version

Matt Dathan
Monday 27 April 2015 13:00
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David Cameron in Croydon on Saturday when he confused Aston Villa and West Ham (Getty)
David Cameron in Croydon on Saturday when he confused Aston Villa and West Ham (Getty)

The 5,000-strong letter from small business owners backing David Cameron has begun to unravel after it emerged one of the signatories did not agree to sign the letter.

The letter, printed on the front page of the Daily Telegraph, praised the Conservative party’s economic policy and claimed a Labour government would “threaten jobs and deter investment”.

But the Daily Telegraph has since been forced to remove Steve O'Hehir’s name. He is a sales manager at Aurum Solutions, a small software firm in Berkshire.

It adds further embarrassment to the Tories after the metadata of the letter’s document shows the organiser of the letter was Conservative party HQ.


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The founder and managing director of Aurum Solutions Helen Belcher took to Twitter to complain about the Telegraph’s decision to print the letter without her Mr O’Hehir’s name.

Aurum Solutions has since tweeted that the Telegraph has removed their name from the list of signatories, but it still appears on the newspaper’s online version.

The last business letter supporting the Conservatives, earlier this month, backfired after it emerged two of the signatories were shamed by the Government for not paying one or more workers the national minimum wage.

One in five of the business leaders in the same letter were given honours by Mr Cameron in the last few years, while one third had donated money to the Tories.

The other companies 27 April's small business letter employ nearly 100,000 people across the country. The letter said they "would like to see David Cameron and George Osborne given the chance to finish what they have started".

It added: "A change now would be far too risky and would undo all the good work of the last five years."

Baroness Brady, the Tories' small business ambassador, said a Labour victory "didn't bear thinking about".

Writing for the paper, she said: "More than 5,000 people who run small businesses have put their names to this letter - and for three reasons. First: they see that Cameron's plan is working for them and their family.

"The second reason they've signed is the Conservatives' plan for the future. In the past 18 months I have been consistently impressed by George Osborne's drive to make things easier for small businesses.

"The third reason they have signed is, frankly, horror at the alternative. We are looking down the barrel of a truly terrible outcome: Ed Miliband in government propped up by the SNP, undoing all the hard work of the past five years."

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