Labour caught using former councillor in party video about cost of energy bills

Labour caught using former councillor as member of public

On Friday, Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves made a party political attack ad criticising the Tories for “holding back” coastal communities like Scarborough.

Ms Reeves promised Labour would tackle the cost of living crisis, and focus on improving seaside towns.

In the video, she claimed she’d been busy “meeting some fantastic local businesses, but also meeting with families who are struggling with the cost of living crisis”.

One of those featured prominently in the party advert was seen bemoaning that he “can’t get a pay rise to cover the cost of an electric bill that, 18 months ago was £100 a month is now £250 a month”.

Viewers of the high-quality video would have been left unaware that the man in question was a Labour councillor until very recently.

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Local sources pointed out that the speaker in question is Carl Maw, a former cabinet member of Scarborough Borough Council.

He held the elected position from May 2015 to March 2023.

Mr Maw only stepped down as a Labour Party councillor earlier this year when Scarborough Council was abolished and subsumed by the new North Yorkshire Council.

During his time as a Labour councillor, Mr Maw joined with 1,200 other local Labour leaders to sign a letter to Boris Johnson about furlough payments.

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Ms Reeves didn’t make viewers aware that Mr Maw may not have participated in her attack ad as a politically neutral member of the public.

Responding to the revelation, a Conservative Party Spokesperson told the Express: “This is yet another shameful attempt by Labour to pull the wool over our eyes.

“Labour will say or do anything to get their hands on the keys to No10 – including getting one of their own former councillors to play the part of an ordinary voter.

“Reeves and Starmer should stop trying to pull a fast one on the electorate.”

It’s not the first time a Labour’s attack ads have gotten them in hot water.

In 2019 it was revealed the star of an advert about the NHS was a conspiracy theorist who claimed 9/11 was an inside job and claimed the assassination of JFK was a “false flag” inside job.

That same year, the Welsh Labour Party had to withdraw a party political broadcast after it emerged that a nurse featured in the video criticising the Tories was an actor.

Labour was approached for comment.

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