SDLP candidate Colum Eastwood slams 'dirty tactics' and reports 'fake letters' to PSNI and Electoral Commission

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has claimed he has been the victim of 'dirty tactics' in the election campaign in Derry.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 11:50 am
Colum Eastwood.

The Foyle Westminster candidate spoke out after letters were delivered to homes in the constituency which, he said, falsely claimed to have emanated from his election campaign.

Mr. Eastwood said the matter has been reported to the PSNI and the Electoral Commission.

"I am disgusted that fake letters purporting to be from me have been delivered to houses in Derry," said Mr. Eastwood.

"Let me be clear, these letters are not from me nor are they from anyone associated with my campaign. This is an organised attempt to lie to the people of Derry, to poison our democratic process and those responsible should be ashamed.

"The people of Foyle know that this is a close race between myself and Elisha McCallion. Voters should make up their minds on our records, not a campaign of dirty tricks," he added.

The SDLP leader said the party's main rival in this campaign, Sinn Féin, should condemn what he described as "vicious lies" contained in the letter.

“My team and I are running a positive campaign, focusing on how we can invest in Derry, make our communities a better place and work with others to stop Brexit.

"I made it clear weeks ago that the SDLP will engage in a clean campaign and I would take strong action if anyone was suspected of nasty personal attacks. That has been our approach to this whole campaign and it is disappointing others have not followed suit."

Meanwhile, the party said the letters which have been "falsely circulated in Colum Eastwood’s name amount, in our view, to a breach of electoral law".

"The SDLP has referred this matter to the Electoral Commission and to the PSNI for investigation," the party added.