A TORY campaign leaflet has caused uproar by implying a school was facing closure.

The leaflet from Adur Conservative Party featured a picture of Shoreham Academy with the line “Shoreham Academy set to close?”.

It was hand delivered to houses in the Southlands area of Shoreham the night before the ward’s by-election on Thursday.

The leaflet appeared to refer to Labour Party policy 
announced at the annual conference this year.

Angela Rayner, shadow secretary of state for education, announced that local authorities might take back control of failing academies if elected.

Adur Conservative Party has been accused of scaremongering for suggesting this meant Shoreham Academy could close.

Parents took to social media to vent their concerns.
Councillor Neil Parkin, leader of Adur District Council, said: “I’m sure the parents were worried, I’m worried every time Jeremy Corbyn opens his mouth.

“I bet none of them were aware of the Labour Party policy before they saw the leaflet.”

The leaflet contained a number of spelling mistakes, missing words and phrases.

It said it was from “Southlands Conservatives”. 

But Cllr Parkin confirmed it was an official Conservative Party leaflet.

Councillor Debs Stainforth went on to win the by-election for Labour by 53 votes.

The seat became available after the Ukip councillor moved away. 

She said: “I first saw this leaflet after someone posted it on a local social media site.

“The parent who posted it was really worried that the school may be about to close.

“I went on the site to reassure people that there was no threat to the local secondary school.

“Until this point the Southlands campaign had been carried out in a spirit of fair play.

“I think it’s a real shame that the local Conservative Party felt so desperate that they were willing to scare people in order to try to win a few votes.

“I hope that the public outcry on social media and the obvious anxiety that parents felt about these totally unfounded claims puts an end to this kind of campaigning once and for all.”