POLITICS

Jeremy Corbyn Supporter Conrad Murray Behind 'Liz Kendall For Conservative Leader' Facebook Page

13/07/2015 14:52 BST | Updated 13/07/2015 20:59 BST
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A spoof Facebook page pillorying Labour leadership candidate Liz Kendall as a Tory is the brainchild of a Jeremy Corbyn supporter, The Huffington Post UK can confirm.

Fingers have been pointed at several culprits, but musician and teacher Conrad Murray said on Monday he was behind it. "I feel Liz is a disgrace to the Labour Party," he told The HuffPost, adding that the direction she wanted to take the party in was "infuriating".

Kendall is seen to be the more Blairite candidate compared to rivals Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Corbyn.

Murray set up a Facebook page and Twitter account named "Liz Kendall for Conservative Leader". The page has around 3,700 Facebook 'Likes'. Just over one thousand less than Kendall's actual page.

The Londoner said when he created the page he expected to get only around 20 'Likes' - not thousands. And he explained why he wanted to see Corbyn win the leadership race. "He has genuine left wing policies," Murray said. "He talks about inequality and fairness."

Murray has also made numerous social media posts promoting his spoof Kendall Facebook and Twitter accounts, including insisting it is more than a "stunt" designed to make fun of Blairites. "I care about the Labour movement," he said.

Corbyn's camp has already distanced itself from the site and insisted the Facebook page was nothing to do with the official campaign. "Spoof accounts are the opposite of leadership debate we are all about - it should be positive campaign about the future direction of the Labour Party, not about personality politics," the campaign said.

In posts on his own Facebook page, Murray celebrates when the page is mentioned in the national media. "She doesn't care about working class people," he said in one comment about Kendall.

Murray added in another: "Even though Jeremy Corbyn is distancing himself from me, I'll still vote for him!"

Kendall's campaign chief Toby Perkins said: "We all know that the history of the Labour Party has been marked by periods where hard left factions attempted to split the party, all of which coincided with Tory victories and a less equal society.

"It is ironic that this ludicrous sort of division should be practiced by a supporter of a candidate who only got onto the ballot paper because comrades who didn't support him wanted to 'widen the debate'.

"We will continue to make a positive case of how Labour can re-engage with the voters who have deserted us and suggest everyone in the party does the same."

John Woodcock, another key Kendall ally, has said the attacks on her would backfire. "No Tory leader would pledge Liz's assault on low pay, plan to tackle grossly unequal life chances or promise to reverse all the attacks on rights at work pushed through in this parliament," he said.

Yvette Cooper's campaign has also distanced itself from the Facebook page, after one if its supporters was revealed to have designed the graphics used on the site.

Murray reacted on Twitter to the suggestion Cooper's campaign was involved in the page. "I'm causing quite a stir in the Kendall and Cooper camp! #kendall4conservative Corbyn 4 the win!" he tweeted.

He also expressed surprise that he had yet to be discovered as the person behind the page: "Crazy innit!? I guess I ain't really important enough to be outed!"