Anti-abortion group renews attack on pregnant Labour candidate

Stella Creasy says constituents are being sent leaflets in a bid to sway vote

An anti-abortion group under investigation by the police has been accused of trying to interfere in the general election by working with a religious organisation to target a prominent Labour figure.

The Christian Peoples Alliance (CPA) distributed fresh leaflets on Friday in an apparent attempt to turn the Muslim community in the London constituency of Walthamstow against the pro-choice Labour candidate Stella Creasy, who is standing for re-election.

On the leaflets were also contact details of a senior member of a separate anti-abortion organisation, the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR UK), which is under investigation by the Metropolitan police over allegations of harassment against Creasy, who is due to give birth this week.

Creasy said the development raised serious questions over undeclared electoral interference, and has sent the leaflet to the local returning officer, who is responsible for overseeing elections in constituencies. “CBR UK have never registered themselves as a political campaigning organisation but are clearly trying to influence an election,” she said. The leaflet, which claims it is “promoted on behalf of Christian Peoples Alliance”, features the handwritten contact details of senior CBR UK official Christian Hacking, the organisation’s so-called team builder. When contacted by the Observer, he strongly denied the two groups were working together in any capacity during the election and said he had been distributing the leaflet in a personal capacity. “There’s no alliance. I work three days a week for CBR UK and, on a day off, I have volunteered with the CPA [to distribute the leaflet],” he said.

In September, CBR UK placed graphic adverts showing a foetus with the words “Stop Stella” in locations around Walthamstow, and held street protests. The strategy prompted a police investigation with the Met police recently submitting evidence to prosecutors over whether the targeting of Creasy last month by CBR UK constituted harassment.

When the CPA, which on Saturday unveiled its manifesto at a Walthamstow church, was asked why CBR UK officials were apparently distributing the groups literature, its leader, Sid Cordle, also denied the two organisations were working together. “But there are individuals from CBR UK who are supporting us. Christian Hacking is supporting us, but not as CBR UK. Obviously CBR UK are quite happy for him to support us but as an organisation we are not tied to CBR UK in any shape or form.”

The offending leaflets, titled “how well do you know your MP?” list various claims about Creasy and were aimed at gaining the support of Muslim worshippers at Friday prayers at a mosque in Walthamstow.

However, members of the Muslim community alerted Creasy, who has been the subject of the campaign by anti-abortion campaigners after leading successful Westminster efforts to decriminalise teminations in Northern Ireland. Creasy said: ”My Muslim community are absolutely furious that these people have done this. They told me they were angry that people were targeting me in this way and have said this is not the kind of politics we want here.”

Cordle admitted that the CPA, which is opposed to marriage equality and abortion, is focusing its general election campaign on ousting Creasy, although it is standing about 30 candidates in total.

Creasy said that the most active group in her constituency was the CPA, with many residents receiving leaflets headlined with the phrase: ‘Stop killing pre-born children’


Mark Townsend

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Police investigate ‘extremist’ targeting of Stella Creasy by anti-abortion group
Pregnant, pro-choice Labour MP subject to intense campaigning in her London constituency

Mark Townsend Observer home affairs editor

06, Oct, 2019 @6:25 AM

Article image
Anger as tampon tax is used to help fund anti-abortion group
Women’s groups and politicians condemn £250,000 grant to Life charity from cash meant for disadvantaged women

Ben Quinn

01, Apr, 2017 @10:51 PM

Article image
Pregnant woman shocked after GP ‘gave her anti-abortion leaflet’
Woman was reportedly handed information from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children at London clinic

Shanti Das

30, Jul, 2022 @6:00 PM

Article image
Buffer zones urged as Lent anti-abortion vigils target clinics
Calls for new legislation to be brought in after women report being left frightened and anxious

Frances Perraudin

17, Mar, 2018 @8:24 PM

Article image
Labour MPs plot ‘ambush’ to reform Northern Ireland abortion laws
Aim to also legalise same-sex marriage will be headache for DUP-reliant PM

Michael Savage

21, Oct, 2018 @8:00 AM

Article image
Police called after Stella Creasy targeted by anti-abortion group
MP ‘physically sick’ at poster claiming to show aborted remains beside her image

Sarah Marsh

28, Sep, 2019 @5:10 PM

Article image
Revealed: the overseas anti-abortion activists using Facebook to target Irish voters
The social media giant has disclosed that many sites targeting voters are managed outside Ireland

Emma Graham-Harrison

12, May, 2018 @8:00 PM

Article image
Irish novelist warns of Brexit-style revolt against elite on abortion vote
As referendum day nears, Patrick McCabe says Dublin media liberals could pay for snobbery towards rural Ireland

Henry McDonald

07, Apr, 2018 @11:04 PM

Article image
Fresh police move on abortion group targeting Stella Creasy
Met asks prosecutors for advice on ‘harassment’ of leading Labour candidate

Mark Townsend and Edna Mohamed

16, Nov, 2019 @4:05 PM

Article image
Women accused of illegal abortions in England and Wales after miscarriages and stillbirths
Dozens of investigations have been launched by police in England and Wales in the past 10 years into suspected breaches of an 1861 law

Shanti Das

02, Jul, 2022 @1:15 PM