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Highgate dad wrongly accused in Tory ‘dirty tricks’ election tweet

Highgate Labour candidate John Woolf with his father Michael Woolf, who is not a member of the Labour Party. Picture: Polly Hancock Highgate Labour candidate John Woolf with his father Michael Woolf, who is not a member of the Labour Party. Picture: Polly Hancock

Tuesday, May 20, 2014
1:50 PM

The father of a Highgate Labour election candidate has accused the Conservatives of “dirty political tactics” after he was named and shamed on Twitter for leaving a bin bag outside his home.

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Justin Hinchcliffe, chairman of Tottenham Conservatives, tweeted this picture of a bag left outside Michael Woolf's homeJustin Hinchcliffe, chairman of Tottenham Conservatives, tweeted this picture of a bag left outside Michael Woolf's home

Chairman of Tottenham Conservatives, Justin Hinchcliffe, refused to apologise for the tweet, which shows a small bin bag - full of dry recycling - outside the door of 66-year-old Michael Woolf, who lives in a social housing block in Tudor Close.

The photo reveals a note taped to the door which is clearly signed with Dr Woolf’s name and address.

Mistakenly believing Highgate’s Haringey Labour candidate John Woolf lived at the address, Mr Hinchcliffe tweeted to his 700 followers: “The @highgatehlabour candidate’s home? Jeez, what hope is there for the rest of us? #KeepHaringeyTidyVoteConservative.”

Dr Woolf, who is not a member of the Labour Party, said the Tweet was an “invasion of privacy”.

“It was appalling,” the father-of-two said. “The bag was there for 20 minutes before I put it out and it was full of recycling.

“I’m not particularly nervous about it but I don’t want my name and address connected with littering and sent to hundreds of people.”

Dr Woolf, the deputy president of an educational organisation, added: “It’s got to be dirty political tactics. They come into our block and chuck their leaflets on the floor so there’s a level of profound hypocrisy.”

Mr Hinchcliffe, who sent the tweet on May 10, is standing as a Haringey Conservative candidate in Seven Sisters ward.

“The bottom line is we all recycle - I’m an avid recycler,” Mr Hinchcliffe told the Ham&High. “But I don’t leave awful looking bins outside my front door.

“If you look outside a lot of Labour homes, they’re often scruffy and dirty.

“I’m glad he took away the bin bag in the end. The point is that I’ve delivered leaflets at that block twice now and every time it’s been messy.”

Mr Hinchcliffe declined to comment any further.

Dr Woolf’s son Guy has demanded that Mr Hinchcliffe apologise for his remarks.

“It’s really made me so angry,” said the 23-year-old actor, of Cromwell Avenue, Highgate. “My dad’s not a member of the Labour Party, he’s 66, he lives in a social housing block, and the gumption of this tweet under the auspice of the Tory Party is unbelievable.”

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