Society's anti-Tory leaflet plans held up

Mike Lazenby
Mike Lazenby

KENT Reliance Building Society has blamed technical and legal reasons for suddenly halting its plan to send a Don’t Vote Tory leaflet to 20,000 members.

Society chiefs backed the leaflet produced by Chatham Regeneration Action Group (CRAG), which is campaigning against the two-way traffic system and planned demolition (since delayed) of the Sir John Hawkins flyover.

The leaflet urges voters to vote for any party but Tory in the local elections on May 3. It advises them the best way of voting in each of Medway’s wards to prevent the election of a Conservative.

The Chatham-based society pledged to send it out with an annual statement to 20,000 savers and borrowers in Medway. But after an internal review, they put the plan on hold.

Chief executive Mike Lazenby said: "We have a technical and legal hitch but we don’t have any regulator breathing down our necks."

The technical reason was down to the late supply of leaflets to its mailing house in Cornwall in time for the mailing.

The legal hitch was due to an internal compliance check that suggested the leaflet "might be construed as party political".

Mr Lazenby denied it was party political but said: "You have to be careful what you put in with an annual statement for legal reasons."

He insisted the society still backed the Don’t Vote Tory campaign and was seeking other ways of distributing the leaflet.

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