And, interestingly enough, it is the Murdoch flagship that has secured the most telling insight into the players in this particularly unpleasant drama. Where the Mail splashes photos of Grant “Spiv” Shapps, Sayeeda Warsi, and Andrew Feldman across its article, the Sun focuses - rightly - on newly ennobled Emma Pidding, and also Shapps’ chief of staff Paul Abbott. The paper also gets the Halfon affair right.
Emma Pidding ... questions
Zelo Street regulars may recall my calling out the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog for suggesting that Harlow MP Rob Halfon had secured the chairmanship of Conservative Future (CF) for Alexandra Paterson, with whom he had begun an affair. This is bunk: it was only after Ms Paterson became CF chair that the affair began. She had secured the post not with Halfon’s help, but Clarke’s.
Paul Abbott (top, second from left) ... questions. Master Cole (front middle) ... questions
Why is the Mail so clueless on the matter? It seems that the suggestion floated some time ago by Private Eye magazine, that relations between the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre and Geordie Greig, who edits the MoS, may not be in the best of states. Had some of their “Questions Tory chiefs MUST answer” been put to Walters, he could have filled in most of the blanks. It seems the two papers are not talking to one another.
Donal Blaney ... questions
“Why, despite the complaints about him, was Clarke brought back to campaign with the party in 2014?” Ask Grant Shapps to tell you who influenced his decision. “How did Clarke know the names of complainants and details of their allegations within hours of them giving evidence to CCHQ?” Ask Emma Pidding.
Sam Armstrong and India Brummitt seen flanking Mark Clarke ... questions
So why has the Sun done rather better on the story, including the gratuitous detail that Justine Greening was one of Clarke’s past conquests? Would Clarke’s pal, the odious flannelled fool Henry Cole, now at the paper, care to comment? And what both papers have missed is that, after he was removed from the Tory candidates’ list, Clarke continued as “Director of Outreach” for the Young Britons’ Foundation.