In an Independent article yesterday, the Conservatives have been accused of trying to erase from the internet 10 years of speeches, press releases and announcements the party made when it was trying to win power from Labour. {jcomments on}

It is bound to fuel suspicions that the Tories are attempting to make it difficult for Labour and journalists to hold the party to account for pledges ahead of 2015.

Among the speeches no longer available are those in which David Cameron and George Osborne pledged not to re-organise the NHS, to support Labour spending plans if they won power and ironically to ensure “near-total transparency of the political and governing elite”.

However, the party categorically denied earlier claims that it had also tried to prevent the content being accessed by search engines despite this being reported by the BBC.

It said the information was still searchable but just not visible on the main site.

The missing speeches were first uncovered by the magazine Computer Weekly, which said it had taken a snap shot of the Conservative site at the start of October but then had been prevented from doing a similar exercise this month.

In a blog the magazine claimed the effect of the move was as “alarming as sending Men in Black to strip history books from a public library and burn them in the car park”.

Labour claimed that it was an attempt by the party to “hide from their own broken promises and failed policy”.

“Rather than owning up to the mess they’re making of the economy and fixing it, they are pretending it hasn’t happened,” said Sheila Gilmore MP.

“It will take more than David Cameron pressing ‘Delete’ to make people forget about his broken promises.”

But the Conservatives say the deletion was merely a routine attempt to clean up the site ahead of the re-launch.

Benefits and Work comment: It begs the question as to why didn’t they merely “archive” the information within the site rather than delete it?

 Our thanks to Pre-Raphaelite Sister for spotting these articles for us.


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