Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
25 November 2019updated 20 Jan 2023 12:02pm

“Make out you’re not a friend”: Tory caught staging friendly voters for the cameras

The Mail’s Michael Crick overheard Tory candidate for Ashfield Lee Anderson setting someone up to greet him on the doorstep for flattering press coverage.

By Election Mole

It’s beginning to look a lot like elexmas – as we have our first traditional “hot mic” moment of the campaign!

Broadcaster Michael Crick of the Mail was making a film in Ashfield following the Tory candidate Lee Anderson around doorknocking – a standard piece of political coverage on the road.

But it turned out his mic was on when he privately called someone up to stage them for the cameras as a friendly voter:

“Don’t, just make out you don’t, make out you know who I am, that you know I’m the candidate but not a friend, all right? I’m at the carpark, have a quick look, yeah? All right, I’ll see you in a minute.”

There’s a moment in the film where a resident called Steve opens the door to him and praises Anderson’s calls for council tenants to be housed in tents, forced to wake up at 6am to pick vegetables, and then given cold showers.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. Your new guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture each weekend - from the New Statesman. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Anderson looks embarrassed when the man says he was “too soft” and instead suggests a “cat o’ nine tails” and putting them “in a pink tutu”. “I can’t support this, can we just cut there for one moment please?” asks the candidate.

Content from our partners
How to navigate the modern cyber-threat landscape
Supporting customers through the cost of living crisis
Data on cloud will change the way you interact with the government

Crick laughs as Anderson says the film will “end my career”, and jokes that it’s “almost like it’s been set up for us”.

Earlier in the film, Anderson repeats “no comment” when Crick tries to ask about the rather barbaric policy proposal.

It’s not clear whether this was the conversation in question that Anderson set up – your mole has contacted the local Tories to ask them, and will give you an update when it hears back.

Watch here:

Topics in this article : ,