Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Behind you! Tories accused over 'fake' students | UK news | The Guardian

The Conservative party has had a few ­problems with authenticity of late, accused of airbrushing David Cameron's campaign posters, and distorting crime statistics.

Now questions are being asked over the genuineness of students photographed listening to Cameron's speech at the ­University of East London on Monday.

The eight or so young people sitting directly behind the Tory leader and listening quietly as he spoke of "rebuilding trust in politics" certainly looked like students. They bore all the hallmarks of youth and academia: hooded tops, jeans, smooth skin. But according to the ­president of the university's union, they were not ­students, but baby-faced ­members of Cameron's campaign team.

"They are not our students," Joseph Bitrus, told the Guardian. "Afterwards I spoke with one of them, and he said he had just joined the campaign a week ago and was learning how it worked."

Bitrus said that UEL staff and students had asked him after who were the people behind Cameron. "They asked because they didn't recognise them, and they didn't represent the multiculturalism of the university," he said. He said students were also disappointed that they did not get the chance to ask Cameron any questions. "He only took one question from a student, and it wasn't about education," said Bitrus, adding that the students had been keen to hear what the Tories would do about higher education funding, and whether they, like Labour, would curb the number of foreign students coming to Britain. "But he just talked about constitutional reform, which wasn't of interest to most students."

Behind you! Tories accused over 'fake' students | UK news | The Guardian

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