Partys dossier contains dubious and outdated claims about Lib Dems and Labour
Conservative candidates in the general election have been issued with a detailed dossier on how to attack Labour and Liberal Democrat rivals which contains numerous rehashed and potentially misleading claims, the Guardian can reveal.
The documents accuse the Liberal Democrats of pushing pro-pimp policies and sex work as a career for schoolchildren.
They also reheat a discredited claim that Labours policy on free movement would lead to 840,000 migrants coming to the UK each year.
Drafted by the Conservative research department, the documents are designed to provide candidates with approved messages to use on doorsteps across the country.
One 17-page briefing note is specifically for Tories in seats where the main challenge comes from Labour. Another 19-page document is for candidates fighting a Liberal Democrat threat.
Many of the statements within them are sourced from comments made several years ago, or by local party members, and do not accurately reflect the current positions of opposition parties.
Some draw on pledges made in the run-up to the 2015 election, or take statements out of context.
The document on how to attack Labour focuses on the economy and includes warnings that the partys policies would cost the nation 1.2tn, and that every taxpayer could expect a bill for 2,400 to install Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister. The claims were widely debunked when made two weeks ago.
The Liberal Democrats are painted as hypocrites with views that are at odds with Britains values. One attack line highlights the anti-Brexit comments from a Liberal Democrat candidates blog even though they were made two years before the referendum took place.
Other highly dubious claims included in the documents include:
The Liberal Democrats want to scrap the promotion of British values and replace them with universal values this was a suggestion made in relation to counter-terrorism only.
The partys leader, Jo Swinson, supports a new tax on homes. This dates back to 2014, and is not party policy.
Labours plans will push up household bills by 2,000. This is sourced from the rightwing tabloid the Daily Express, which itself was reporting Tory calculations.
Labour will automatically support all strikes. This relies on a 2015 quote from the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell. However, the partys manifesto says it will only remove unnecessary restrictions on industrial action.
McDonnell has said that business is the real enemy. This draws on a 2011 speech he made, but misses the ending he said the enemy was the corporations who created the crisis.
In one section headed The Liberal Democrats dont share peoples values, the briefing note claims: The Lib Dems have put forward pro-pimp policies on prostitution and have suggested prostitution should be suggested as a career to schoolchildren. To reach this claim, the dossier took comments made three years ago by a former chairman of the Lib Dems Cheltenham branch and suggested they were indicative of party policy.
The Lib Dem manifesto does not mention prostitution, although the party has a longstanding conference motion promoting decriminalisation to safeguard sex workers.
Tory candidates targeting Lib Dems have also been given lists of examples to support claims the party is soft on crime, and wants to hike taxes on working people.
Turning a press report from when Nick Clegg was leader in 2013 into a doorstep attack line for use in the December election, the party instructs activists to tell voters that the Lib Dems would replace our nuclear deterrent with unarmed missiles.
Clegg had boasted about blocking the Tories on Trident while deputy prime minister in the coalition government, but the party reinstated a policy of supporting the use of a nuclear deterrent two years ago under Tim Farron.