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Former Labour official in ‘grift’ to charge candidates for FREE campaign services

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Bria Roy, who previously served as Labour’s general secretary during their wilderness years, is offering candidates “voter contact calling” services through his firm Stratcom UK.

But Labour sources have pilloried Roy because the party already provides this service at no cost to candidates through a special app.

He is charging candidates a starting price of £2 per contact, which would mean it would cost a Constituency Labour Party at least £20,000 to contact 10,000 voters.

In an email to candidates, Roy said: “As a former general secretary of the Scottish Labour Party, I know what it’s like to be in a tough election campaign.

“I also think I know a thing or two about what might help in your campaign, if you have the resources to do it.”

He said that contact calling allowed candidates to “engage directly with key target voters through personalised conversations that drive support and identity your Labour vote”.

Roy (above) added: “Our experienced team uses sophisticated calling technology to optimise returns and identify the voters you need to win. Our team will work with your local contact creator administrator to ensure all contacts are counted and uploaded.”

He also offered candidates “precision-targeted programmatic advertising”, promising hopefuls the chance to “secure over 200,000 video impressions” for the price of £2,500.

‘An insult to hard-working members’ 

A Scottish Labour source said: “Brian Roy’s email quoting £2 per voter call is an absolute grift and an insult to hard-working members who are giving up their time for free in order to get a Labour government elected.

“Perhaps his time would be spent more wisely getting back out on the doorstep and helping his local party return a Labour MP like hardworking [Constituency Labour Parties] with limited resources are doing across Scotland.”

Another party insider said: “This isn’t exactly a vote of confidence in the Labour Party’s digital campaigns services, which candidates get for free and he used to be responsible for running.”

It comes as Labour have bombarded supporters with begging emails, despite breaking its fundraising records in recent months.

The party £13m – its highest ever donation amount – from wealthy individuals and companies last year, resulting in a sizable election war chest of just over £31 million.

But emails sent at the beginning of this month and at the end of last week saw party HQ put the screws on supporters.

An email sent to members read: “We don’t want to worry you first thing in the morning, but we have no choice but to share this with you.

“We started the first week of our election campaign off strong with a huge surge of donations, and we are hugely grateful – but as we’ve entered the second week, they’ve slowed down significantly.”

It added: “We expected our donations to slow, but it’s worse than expected, and its making us uneasy at HQ.”

The SNP’s financial woes also came into focus this week, with Electoral Commission data showing the party had received no reportable donations in the first three months of 2024.

At a campaign event in Glasgow on Friday, SNP leader John Swinney (above) said that “lots of people” were donating “small sums” which “adds up to quite a big amount”.

He added: “So I’m really quite happy with the way donations are coming into the party. I always encourage people to continue to donate because we’ve got four quite expensive weeks ahead of us.

“So just a wee handy reminder to the watching public: we’re not in any way full up with donations.”

Stratcom were approached for comment.

Scottish Labour declined to comment.

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