Boris Johnson got away with misleading voters in dismal election campaign: Yorkshire Post Letters

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is greeted by staff as he arrives back at 10 Downing Street, London. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is greeted by staff as he arrives back at 10 Downing Street, London. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
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From: Roger Backhouse, Orchard Road, Upper Poppleton, York.

May I thank The Yorkshire Post’s journalists for their general election coverage – particularly Tom Richmond and especially Andrew Vine for their defence of good journalism in the face of some appalling practice.

Unlike several national papers, The Yorkshire Post hasn’t distorted or falsified in support of any one party. Nor has it insulted our intelligence by telling us who to vote for.

I was appalled to see that some readers believed Facebook posts rather than your paper’s reporting. Surely we all require a degree of scepticism when faced with sensational stories from unknown sources.

This was the most dismal election campaign of any I recall. When Dominic Cummings became Number 10’s special adviser, David Cameron warned his tactics would be unscrupulous. So it proved. He knew well that a falsehood spread fast on social media when proper newspapers or broadcasters would check facts first. Much of what Boris Johnson said was misleading or even false, but he got away with it.

Round here, Liberal Democrats circulated literature falsely claiming that only their candidate could beat the Conservative, saying Labour couldn’t win. Facts proved otherwise. Labour came second and Lib Dems trailed some way behind. There are more examples from other parties.

I wish you well getting the Electoral Commission to carry out an inquiry into this election campaign. But I am not optimistic – too many of the wrong people will benefit from the way this election has been fought.

In the end, it is up to us to scrutinise all politicians’ statements and rely on trusted sources of which The Yorkshire Post is one. It deserves the accolade of Britain’s most trusted paper.

From: Vic Van Den Bergh, St Francis’ Church, Tamworth, Staffordshire.

As someone in the business of truth (I’m a Church of England priest) I had to thank you for your excellent open letter (The Yorkshire Post, December 12) relating to those who post and influence, often mischievously or maliciously, then vanish into the ether.

The standards you speak of as a journalist are truly what should be expected in the press, and elsewhere, but this seems to be less often the case these days. Please accept my thanks for a most valuable, integrity-filled, response.