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Cend Ltd: the Tories false friends

The latest return from the Electoral Commission shows that since 2014 Cend Ltd have given the Tories £300,000.

They are part of The Hut Group, a successful mail order business run by entrepreneur Matthew Moulding. £50,000 gets membership of the Tory “Leaders Group” whose members “are invited to join senior figures from the Conservative Party at dinners, lunches, drinks receptions.”

Moulding’s companies also fairly regularly appear in the Advertising Standards Authority list of firms with unfair or untrue advertising.

In October 2017, one of his mail order firms, MyProtein — they sell body-building supplements — was told off for claiming “UP TO 60% OFF PLUS EXTRA 10% OFF” for “HIGH PROTEIN SNACKS.” Body building bargain hunters complained they could not find the cut-price snacks.

The Advertising Standards Authority “upheld” their complaint that this was “misleading”, as in fact only a very small number of products had their prices slashed. In April the Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint that MyProtein were making false claims about the health properties of their body-building supplements.

Their claims about “amino acid levels” and supplements were not justified: they broke EU regulations because the claims were not backed up by the “EU register of nutrition and health claims made on foods.”

In late 2016 another Moulding firm, an online DVD retailer, was told off for offering a rare limited set of “Blu Ray” discs of science fiction series Farscape with a signed certificate from the creators: the signature turned out to be a printed copy, not an original. So the Tories are funded by a group with a history of false advertising and fake claims about health and price, which seems very fitting.

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