In the second of three leaders’ debates last night, Cameron challenged Gordon Brown to axe leaflets that claim the Tories would cut pensioners’ benefits including bus passes, winter fuel payments and prescriptions.
Cameron told voters: “Those leaflets you’ve been getting from Labour, those letters you’ve been getting from Labour, are pure and simple lies.”
Brown claimed that he had not authorised the leaflets and questioned that if the claim was untrue, why had the Tories not pledged to protect pensioners’ benefits in their manifesto.
The Tories hit back immediately with their own leaflets depicting Brown as Little Britain character Vicky Pollard next to the line: “Did I lie about the dodgy leaflets? Yeah but no but yeah but …”
Labour came under fire earlier this month after party leaflets were sent to women warning them that Tory policies on cancer could endanger their lives. Some of the 250,000 leaflets were sent to women who had cancer, leading to accusations that they were targeted.
Instant polls after last night’s debate in Bristol did not point to an outright winner. Some polls said Cameron had won, while others indicated Liberal Democratic leader Nick Clegg had repeated his success in the first poll and come out top.
The Liberal Democrats’ popularity has surged in the past week increase the likelihood of a hung parliament or a possible coalition.