The Tory candidate in Croydon Central has been issued with what is effectively a ‘cease and desist’ notice after he featured individuals in a campaign video without seeking their permission. KEN LEE reports
Mario Creatura, the oleaginous Conservative candidate who wants to be MP for Croydon Central, has been served with a formal notice to edit or remove a video from the internet because it includes footage of individuals without their prior, written approval.
The complaint is something of an embarrassment for Creatura, who has claims to being something of a social media “expert”: currently employed as the “head of digital communications” at Virgin Money, he was previous Theresa May’s Twitter monitor.
As such, he really ought to have a better grasp of the laws on privacy when it comes to publishing or broadcasting anything (although, given some parts of the Tory party’s flagrant disrespect for the law in terms of election funding and statements, maybe not…).
The principles are straightforward and should amount to commonsense and decency for anyone seeking public office. Which is probably why Creatura has chosen to ignore them: you cannot include anyone in promotional or political material without first seeking their permission, and getting that signed off in writing.
There is more than a suspicion of cynicism, too, in some of the footage which Creatura has used in his brief, soft-focus life story video which he has posted, and re-posted, on Twitter, since it includes shots of a smiling Surrey Street stall-holder, Jose Joseph, who is well-known as a Labour Party supporter and an official in the Croydon Central CLP.
Creatura is seeking to win back the Croydon Central seat which was held between 2010 and 2017 by his mentor and boss, “Baron” Gavin Barwell. Labour’s Sarah Jones won the seat for Labour two years ago with a 5,600-vote majority.
Last night, Joseph sent what amounts in legal terms to a “cease and desist” order to Creatura. Polite, but firm, he wrote:
“Dear Mr Creatura, In one of your recent political videos you included a short clip of me trading on my stall in Surrey Street market.
“I object to this, as the video might give the impression that I support your campaign or that I agreed to be featured in your video. Neither of these things are true.
“Please confirm that you will re-edit the video to delete the offending section.”
Creatura had not responded to the request this morning. Indeed, he compounded the offence when he re-tweeted the video today, complete with the section which Joseph had requested should be removed.
If Creatura refuses to comply with the request, a formal legal demand could be served on him and his Conservative Party agent – something likely to get very messy with a General Election just over a month away.
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