Plaid Cymru has today called on the Royal Mail to stop distributing BNP leaflets.
Research by Plaid Cymru has shown that the BNP “supporters” quoted on their election address are in fact stock photos from istockphoto.com.
The party believes the BNP's leaflets break electoral guidelines and are therefore illegal and this is why Adam Price, the party's Director of Election has called on the Royal Mail to put an end to the distribution of BNP flyers.
The leaflet is in the process of being delivered to millions of homes in the UK. It includes pictures of a doctor, a group of "British" workers and an elderly couple. All the individuals are quoted as giving their support to the BNP.
However, according to Plaid, the doctor - who claims he will be “voting BNP” - is a model. The elderly couple - quoted as saying they want to see pensioners put before asylum seekers - are the parents of photographer, Luca di Fillippo, and it is alleged the “British” workers actually posed for Boone Rodriguez: a photographer based in Portland, Oregon.
So, it appears that none of the photographed individuals are British or supporters of the BNP.
Here's Adam Price:
"On their leaflets they [the BNP] use a series of photos of supposed BNP supporters. However the truth is that the ‘British’ workers in front of the union jack are actually American builders on a site in the USA. The ‘doctor’ who says ‘he’s voting BNP’ is actually a stock photo of an American actor, who probably has never heard of the BNP and I would be very surprised if he was eligible to vote here. The pensioners featured in the leaflet were totally unaware that their photo has been used on this leaflet in such a way.
"It is a sick irony that the people photographed, and indeed the photographers are from other countries - the very people that the BNP seeks to demonize."
Mr Price insists circulation of the leaflet must end:
"These leaflets hideously misrepresent the views of the people photographed. I believe that they have breached the guidelines set out for electoral communications and I call on the Royal Mail to stop their distribution immediately."
We have contacted the BNP for a response to these comments and will post their reaction once we have it! In the meantime, what are your thoughts?
p.s. iStock's Content license agreement states that a client may not "use or display any Content that features a model or person in a manner that (i) would lead a reasonable person to think that such person uses or personally endorses any business, product, service, cause, association or other endeavour;"