Employee signed Tory letter of support as “private individual”

Sybil Phoenix

Sybil Phoenix (left) founded the Marsha Phoenix Memorial Trust in 1979. Pic: Lewisham Council.

A Lewisham-based charity has confirmed that an employee acted in a private capacity when she signed a controversial letter of support for the Conservative Party.

The Marsha Phoenix Memorial Trust told Eastlondonlines this, after the Conservative Party maintained that everyone whose name was published did sign up to the letter on the party website.

Earlier this week, Eastlondonlines reported that the trust denied signing a letter of support for the Conservative Party, claiming it did not know how its name got on the list. This was after The Telegraph newspaper published a list of the supporters’ names on Monday.

When asked, a Conservative Party spokesman said: “I can 100 per cent guarantee that the reason they ended up on the letter is because the director or the person who was named as having signed up to it did actually sign up to it.” Representatives from over 5,000 organisations signed up to the letter supporting the party.

The trust initially insisted it had no knowledge that it was included in the list, and had asked the party to remove its name.

But the trust’s director Rebecca Long later told Eastlondonlines: “One of our employees responded as a private individual, outside of work, to an email from the Conservative Party that asked her to complete a form. It asked where she worked and she gave those details, but not in any official capacity or on behalf of anyone but herself.”

Long declined to provide any further information about the form or the employee who responded.

The trust maintains that it does not wish to be a signatory to the letter. Long said: “We reiterate that we have asked to be removed from this list because our name was placed there without our consent or knowledge, we are not a small business and do not endorse this cause or any other”.

Long also criticised the Conservative Party for retaining the trust’s name on a list which they have “clearly asked to be removed from”.

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