Tory Clarke using phone messages to reach members

Ken Clarke is using a pioneering phone-based campaign tool to aid

his bid for the Conservative Party leadership.



In addition to his hustings and online presence, Clarke is also

communicating to members by broadcasting his political message by

telephone.



This is the first time the service, developed by Myriad directRadio has

been used for political campaigning.



The audio broadcast, which can be heard by contacting a local rate line

(0870 241 6780) is also available online. It features messages from

Clarke and supporters Anne Widdecombe, Malcolm Rifkind and Andrew

Lansley.



Clarke said: 'If the Conservative Party is ever to return to government,

it needs to embrace new campaign ideas.



'I'm keen to ensure every modern campaign tool is used as fully as

possible.



This is why I have encouraged my team to use every new technology

available,' he added.



Myriad is headed by MD James Thompson and has BP, Shell and IBM on its

client list.



Thompson said: 'Some of our services have been freephone but if Ken

Clarke had done that he could have been faced with a bill that would

have swallowed up most of his campaign budget.'



The telephone and online service can handle 18,000 callers at a time.



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