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News, gossip and insight from PoliticsHome Editor Paul Waugh

Zephaniah speaks out

Less than a month to go in the AV referendum now and the vitriol between the two sides shows no signs of abating.

But remember that story at the weekend that somehow the Yes to AV camp had 'airbrushed' poet Benjamin Zephaniah out of one of its leaflets in the West Country?

Well, I've just learned that the real story is the exact opposite. It wasn't Zephaniah who was airbrushed out in the West Country  - it was Tony Robinson (aka Baldrick) who was removed from the London leaflets.

I understand that one member of the Yes camp spotted the leaflet with Robinson on it and said that in the capital it would look strange to have no ethnic minority faces. As a result, Zephaniah was airbrushed in, rather than airbrushed out.

Anyway, after days of people trying to reach him, the poet himself has now spoken.

From the top of a mountain in the Himalayas, he says:

“These allegations are preposterous. I am happy for the ‘Yes’ campaign to use my endorsement as they see fit. I am happy for them to use it in London, and as I understand it, in a nationwide letter. “Let’s talk about the real issue – how we renew our democracy. I want democratic change and that is why I am voting ‘yes’ on May 5."


Here's the two leaflets:

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