Thousands of alleged Liberal Democrat voters awoke this morning to demands for hundreds of pounds in immediate payment or threats of subsequent court action over alleged negligence and complicity in damaging public sector cuts and job losses.
The letters, on headed note paper from the lawfirm Spitz,Swallow & Andfinnish claim to be acting on behalf of the Unite Union and are seeking to recover compensation for the losses sustained by union members affected by public sector cuts, and claiming the alleged Liberal Democrat voters "acted negligently on May 6th 2010, in a manner which led directly to considerable material and emotional losses to thousands of Health, Local Government, Military and other Public sector employees and service users."
It is unclear how the firm traced the identities of alleged Liberal Democrat voters, and whether the legal actions could succeed if carried out. And while a growing number of letter recipients seem to have settled quickly, in exchange for a guarantee against further indemnity over any actions of the coalition government, the letters have provoked and angry response from many who feel they have been unfairly targeted:
A Mr Nicholas Clegg of Sheffield, who received one of the first letters, commented 'This is preposterous! It amounts to extorion with menaces on the flimsiest of premises. How dare they demand money on the back of such spurious and baseless allegations? Just ask anyone who knows me: I have been a Tory supporter all my life!"