A Channel 4 researcher Jenny Williams (photo from Facebook) – working for the Dispatches programme – attempted to infiltrate one of the Conservative Party’s donor clubs, Team 2000. As CCHQ carried out compliance checks they became increasingly suspicious of her true identity and eventually rumbled her. Last year the Mirror’s attempt to infiltrate the Party Chairman’s office was also thwarted.
A Conservative Party spokesman issued this statement:
“This was irresponsible and deceptive. Compliance by all major political parties with the laws of political party funding is a fundamental requirement in promoting confidence in the democratic process. The Electoral Commission, not an undercover journalist, properly regulates this compliance and the Conservative Party takes its responsibilities and obligations to the Electoral Commission very seriously. It is not acceptable is for journalists to masquerade as a member of the Conservative Party – or any Party for that matter – in a covert, self-appointed role to “check” compliance procedures. It is of particular concern that as part of this subterfuge, Channel 4 deliberately obscured the source of Party donations so we were misled into believing it was Miss Williams who made the donations, when it was not. This meant that we were not able accurately to account for her donations. Such behaviour by Channel 4 in this case undermines the proper working of a political party, and its accounting regime.”
Our key question: Did Channel 4 also attempt the same infiltration of Labour?