Eastbourne Lib Dem campaigner smeared by Telegraph cleared by police

by Stephen Tall on May 16, 2010

Just a day before polls opened the Daily Telegraph splashed with the sensational headline, Senior Liberal Democrat arrested over ’sabotage’:

A senior Liberal Democrat campaigner has been arrested for allegedly trying to sabotage the Conservatives’ campaign in a key marginal seat in Thursday’s general election. The official understood to have failed to present himself at a police station in the south east of England. He is closely involved in the battle in Eastbourne against the Tories, where the Liberal Democrats held a 775 majority [untrue: it was a Conseavtive seat – Ed.] at the last election.

Compare that smear-without-substance with this more sober headline in the Rye and Battle Observer, Lib Dem campaigner is cleared:

A LIBERAL Democrat campaigner arrested on suspicion of harassing rival volunteers and the theft of Conservative election signs has been cleared of all allegations by police. … Chair of the Eastbourne Liberal Democrat Association Beryl Healy said there had never been any evidence the Lib Dems had touched Conservative boards. “It was sad the Conservatives accused, without any proof at all, a Lib Dem volunteer who was subjected to being arrested and having his house searched,” said Mrs Healy. “I really feel the Conservatives manufactured the accusations and should publicly apologise.”