Public Relations

Theresa May's former co-chief of staff admits Tory campaign under-utilised modern campaigning techniques

By John Glenday | Reporter

June 12, 2017 | 3 min read

Theresa May’s former adviser Nick Timothy has blamed his former boss’s humiliation at the polls on the Conservatives failure to utilise modern campaigning methods to target specific voters.

Writing in Conservative Home Timothy conceded that the General Election result had been a ‘huge disappointment’ after it failed to secure an outright majority despite the party securing 13.6m votes – more than amassed by Tony Blair during his landslide victories.

Theresa May

Theresa May's former co-chief of staff admits Tory campaign under-utilised modern campaigning techniques

Amidst ongoing post mortems and recriminations into this failure Timothy pinned the blame on a failure to convey its ‘positive plan’ to working class voters, young people and Remain voters, adding: “It also failed to notice the surge in Labour support, because modern campaigning techniques require ever-narrower targeting of specific voters, and we were not talking to the people who decided to vote for Labour.”

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Timothy also took the opportunity to attack ‘bizarre’ media reports on his role in the notorious policy programme – specifically the failure to specify a ceiling on social care costs. He said: “I would like to make clear that the bizarre media reports about my own role in the policy’s inclusion are wrong: it had been the subject of many months of work within Whitehall, and it was not my personal pet project. I chose not to rebut these reports as they were published, as to have done so would have been a distraction for the campaign.

“But I take responsibility for the content of the whole manifesto, which I continue to believe is an honest and strong programme for government.”

Timothy resigned as May’s co-chief of staff alongside Fiona Hill yesterday.

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