Parties at odds over political posters
By Our Parliamentary correspondent, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 07 December 2007 12:00AM
Labour and the Tories have clashed over whether poster campaigns by political parties should be banned in the run-up to general elections.
The threat to posters has emerged as a result of the scandal over Labour's secret £600,000 donations from the property developer David Abrahams.
The parties are to reopen talks on a new agreement for political funding, which will mean a big cut in election budgets.
Labour has floated the idea of an outright ban on posters.
Hazel Blears, the communities secretary, said: "At the moment, we and the Tories spend £6 million or £7 million on billboards. We all know they don't really affect the way people vote, so let's do away with them."
But David Cameron, the Tory leader, said: "Billboards are not always expensive. To start saying you can advertise on the internet and in a newspaper but not on a billboard would be ridiculous."
He added that a "tough and tight" cap on election spending would drive down poster budgets.
Although the Government will outline proposals to curb spending shortly, ministers are unlikely to propose a total ban on posters without Tory support. However, all parties are likely to cut their spending on billboards sharply to meet new spending limits.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk
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