1 February 2015

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Anger over council’s phony ‘newspaper’ splash

A picture shows the destroyed and charred remains of a fire-ravaged room, while the headline blares the tragic news: “Five children dead in school fire”.

But this was no local paper splash, and there was no fire. This was an advert created by a local council – and it has sparked outrage over critics who have labelled it “irresponsible” and “tasteless.”

Lambeth Council mocked up the phony front page of the non-existent Clapham News as part of a campaign opposing plans to close Clapham Fire Station.

Featuring the strapline: “The headlines we don’t want to see in Clapham,” the poster includes a short fictitious story about the ‘fire’, reporting that the community was in mourning for five children who lost their lives to smoke inhalation after becoming trapped.

The fake Clapham News front page has provoked anger

It also includes quotes from the ‘distraught headteacher’, who says “every minute counts,” adding: “If our local station hadn’t been closed, maybe the children could have been rescued in time.”

Chairman of the London Fire Authority James Cleverly told the London Evening Standard he felt it was a “disgusting” attempt to generate fear among residents.

According to the report, the front pages were handed out to people who attended a meeting about the cuts to the fire service.

“These posters are an ill-judged and irresponsible addition to a Lambeth campaign already marred by emotive misinformation,” Mr Cleverly added.

The leader of the council, Labour councillor Lib Peck, said the posters were designed to warn people of the potential impact of closing the station.

“The posters reflect the very real danger to the public of closing Clapham fire station. We believe it’s important that our residents are aware of the proposal to close Clapham fire station and the dangers to public safety as a result of increased response times,” she said.


  1. Part-time Hack

    Wow – surely Lambeth’s local paper will have something to say about this!

    What it’ll have to say is ‘what does Joan Ruddock think?’

    SLP? Supporting Labour Politicians!

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  2. Sub up North

    “There’s only on thing worse than being talked about – and that’s not being talked about,” as a certain writer once said. Well, we all know about their campaign now. Job done successfully, then.

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  3. Hacked Off

    You could be fooled with a quick glance but surely closer inspection easily shows it’s a spoof. In my view it’s a good idea and has created comment as it aimed to do. Some people whinge about anything.

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  4. Doctor David

    Apparently, this is one of four mocked up front pages given out at a meeting about the station closure. The only person to have been fooled by them appears to be political blogger Guido Fawkes, who has worked himself up into a state of righteous indignation.

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  5. oldhack

    I’m just peeved a real sub wasn’t used to produce the page..The lack of apostrophe is so glaring.

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  6. oldhack

    PS, where did you get the picture from? I hope you paid for it

    Report this comment

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