After the clumsy smear attempted last week by a close and long-standing friend of Young Britons’ Foundation head man Donal Blaney, which tried to dump the blame for the death of Tory activist Elliott Johnson on his parents, it was inevitable that the Johnson family would have something to say. To no surprise, this has happened via the Mail On Sunday and its legendarily tenacious political editor Simon Walters.
“The note suggests the main cause of his death was bullying triggered by a vicious Tory power struggle – as well as losing his job and going broke as a result”. This tallies with the statement given to Zelo Street yesterday by one of Elliott Johnson’s friends, which told that after being made redundant, “Elliott found himself stranded in London with rent to pay and no income, which is no way to treat a vulnerable young man”.
Ray Johnson has seen the leak of a Police report, and correctly deduced “it looks like a smear”. It is also another example of the Daily Mail and Mail On Sunday taking deliberately opposing positions on issues as part of the proxy war between editors Paul Dacre and Geordie Greig, something highlighted by Private Eye magazine some time ago. Ray Johnson is particularly annoyed at suggestions the family rowed over Elliott’s sexuality.
Indeed, he has told the MoS “He told us he was definitely gay about two years ago. By then, we had all got used to it and Elliott had a happy three years at Nottingham University where he was very popular. He was more mature and when he got a job with Conservative Way Forward in June, it was a dream come true … He was working in politics, getting paid for it and living in London. He had never been happier”.
This is what he had to tell the world earlier: “Over the last few months some people have deleted me from Facebook because so many bad things have been said about me. You have all given me a chance to go through the process then explain myself. The Coroner’s investigation is over [!] and I will be on the Sunday Politics tomorrow. I hope you’ll feel vindicated about sicking [sic] with me when you see it”.
The Coroner’s “investigation” has not even started. And, although one cannot object to free dissenting speech, there is something disquieting about Walker being given a platform when the person at the centre of the affair is no longer here to tell his story.
The Elliott Johnson story is not over yet, and will not be even after André Walker has appeared on the Sunday Politics. There is a great deal more to come, and some of it will not make easy reading. More on the story as and when.