Independent convenience stores have unwittingly signed a 5,000-strong Conservative letter from small businesses pledging their loyalty to the party.


20 newsagents and convenience store owners have allegedly signed the open letter to the Daily Telegraph warning that a Labour government would pose a risk to the economy’s growth.

Despite supporting the Conservative party, Andy Hill of Hillsons Newsagent in Middlesbrough did not remember signing the letter. “I filled in a questionnaire, but that was it,” he said. “I don’t remember signing anything, I guess there has just been so much stuff going on.”

Other small business owners that allegedly signed the letter includes companies that have closed down and some wanting their name removed.

small business Karren Brady: The Apprentice star and Conservative small business ambassador

The letter was orchestrated in Conservative headquarters and promoted by businesswoman and Tory small business ambassador Karren Brady, but the method of distribution is unclear as many retailers do not remember signing the letter.

“A generic email just landed in my inbox from Karren Brady, I guess they just had a list of small businesses they sent it out to,” said Murali Gunarajah of Harwell Village Newsagent in Oxfordshire.

However, some retailers used the opportunity to reveal their political stance. “I would do anything to stop Labour getting in power,” said Gunarajah added. “They used to be a party of small businesses, but not any more with their empty promises and pact with the SNP.”

Ian Moncur of Moncur Newsagents in Norwich said. “I want the country to stay as it is, because small businesses are growing again and I’m worried it would all grind to a halt if Miliband gets in.”