Tories pocket £72,000 from web giants May condemned for spreading terror online
THERESA May has been branded a “complete hypocrite” for accepting £72,000 from web giants after attacking them for fuelling online terror.
The Daily Mirror has learned Google paid £32,500 for a six metre-square stand at the Tory Conference which opens tomorrow in Manchester.
Salman Abedi used videos from Googleowned YouTube to help to build the bomb that killed 22 in the same city.
The Tories also pocketed £36,000 from Microsoft for a stand plus advertising, and £3,500 from Amazon for a full-page ad in the conference handbook.
Earlier this month Mrs May – who yesterday visited British troops in Estonia – made a speech at the UN and vowed to fine firms like Microsoft and Google unless they removed terrorist material within two hours of it being posted.
And her government has also begun talks with Amazon about selling items on
its websites that could help jihadis. The revelations raise serious questions about the PM’s commitment to tackling terror.
Last night Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable said: “It is completely hypocritical for the Conservatives to accept money from companies they have condemned in the most colourful terms. You have to wonder if they will now pull their punches when dealing with these companies.”
He added: “Theresa May accused social media giants of helping spread ‘poisonous material’ that ‘warped young minds’.
“Yet here the Conservatives are pock- eting the cheque. Now companies like Google will know that next time Theresa May creates a lot of noise they can simply ignore her.”
The Mirror has seen a 15-page brochure listing prices for businesses to appear at or sponsor the Tory conference. In it party chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin writes: “The Conservative Party Conference is the largest political conference in Europe.
“Its scale and impact gives businesses and organisations a unique opportunity to reach a vast number of delegates.
“We offer the following services to each exhibitor: Ministerial visits from senior members of cabinet.”
It is understood Google, Microsoft and Amazon also either appeared at or sent representatives to Labour’s conference.
But critics pointed out leader Jeremy Corbyn had not spent the summer attacking web giants over terror.
Google said: “We’re attending the conference, as we did Labour’s, to discuss digital skills and online safety. And like other exhibitors, we paid for a stand.”
Amazon said it had a presence at both Labour and Tory conferences.
It added that its subsidiary, Amazon Web Services, would be in Manchester to educate people about cloud computing. Microsoft declined to comment. At least a thousand officers and extra armed police will be on duty tomorrow as two demos converge on the conference. Airport-style security checks will form part of the £2 million security package and delegates will also be advised to hide badges when outside a “secure zone”.
UNDER FIRE PM meets troops yesterday