The UK's elections watchdog has been urged to investigate whether 'third party' campaign groups collaborated to flood social media with anti-Labour attack ads. Campaign groups spent as much as £700,000 on ads attacking Jeremy Corbyn and Labour policies during the 2019 election campaign, without declaring any of their donors. But they're banned from joining forces to plan such campaigns to get around legal spending limits. The Mirror revealed on Friday that a group run by Tory activist Jennifer Powers had spent £65,000 on dozens of ads attacking Jeremy Corbyn and Labour on housing policy. But she flatly denied collaborating with anyone else, insisting she merely had an "amateur interest" in housing, and it was a "kitchen table" operation. But emails obtained by OpenDemocracy reveal striking similarities with another campaign run by a former Boris Johnson aide. The Fair Tax Campaign, founded by Alex Crowley, a former close aide of Boris Johnson, ran around 100 ads worth £63,105 across just two months leading up to the 2019 poll. Mr Crowley helped run Boris Johnson’s successful campaign for the Tory leadership, and was his political director while he was Mayor of London. Emails sent by Powers and Crowley to the Electoral Commission… Read full this story
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