A defaced Ukip poster in a garden as Labour’s candidate Gareth Snell campaigns on the doorsteps of homes in Bentilee. But are the Liberal Democrats behind the latest scandal to hit the campaign? [Image: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.]

Why are the Liberal Democrats trying to blame Labour for the text calling on Muslim voters not to support UKIP?

There is no evidence at all to suggest that anyone from Labour is involved. Certainly no official member of Labour’s campaign is responsible.

Haven’t the Lib Dems ever heard of a “false flag” attack? Or is this exactly what they have launched, here?

It’s an old tactic: Set up a situation where it seems one party tries to attack another by undermining a third, then stand up as the “wronged” third party in the hope that you get support that way.

Liberal Democrats have an appalling reputation as campaigners, especially after a campaign guidebook was publicised which called on supporters to “be wicked, act shamelessly, stir endlessly”.

Isn’t that what is happening here?

The Lib Dems have alerted the police after messages sent to some Muslim voters in Stoke-on-Trent suggested they could go to hell if they failed to vote Labour to keep out Ukip’s Paul Nuttall.

The Lib Dems demanded an apology from Labour on Thursday in a letter to the party’s election agent, copying in the police and Stoke returning officer.

The anonymous message, distributed locally to some in the Muslim community by text and Whatsapp, called for people to vote Labour so as not to help “enemies of Islam”.

It said voting for the Lib Dem candidate, Dr Zulfiqar Ali, a Muslim, could help “far-right, anti-Muslim, anti-Islamic Ukip party” take the seat, which is being contested in a byelection triggered by the resignation of Labour MP Tristram Hunt.

Source: Stoke byelection: Lib Dems alert police over text urging Muslims to vote Labour | UK news | The Guardian

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