Following the revelation that James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole was being encouraged to stand in the Corby and East Northamptonshire by-election – but would pull out before having to stump up his £500 deposit – by Tory MP Chris Heaton Harris, he has written an op-ed column for the Maily Telegraph in which he has implored readers to look at somewhere in West Yorkshire instead.
To which I call bullshit: Del Boy skirts round the issue, and doesn’t even address the points raised by the Greenpeace expose of the terminally clueless Heaton Harris, who got his own deputy chairman to resign from the Tory Party so he could act as Del’s election agent. Nor does he explain how the timeline for his candidature, which I put forward yesterday, appears to support the suggestion of conspiracy.
Moreover, the Telegraph has now put on record the assertion that “Delingpole said he had not been approached by ... Heaton Harris to stand”. Anyone might think that the two were trying to give the impression that they weren’t such good friends, but thanks to the good people at Windsor Conservatives, we can see that Del Boy and the MP for Daventry spent some time together recently.
In fact, by the time the Greenpeace film was shot, Heaton Harris and Delingpole had already spent rather a lot of time together, and only the previous week. It was then that the Windsor association held its Conservative Renewal Conference, partly sponsored by the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA). Here, there were a number of “breakout sessions”, one of which was on the environment.
Look who's here
So who was on the panel for this session? To no surprise, the TPA’s chief non-job holder Matthew Sinclair and his former colleague Mark Wallace were present (didn’t think of either as experts on the environment? Neither did I), along with – you guessed it – Chris Heaton Harris and James Delingpole. And the idea that they just turned up on the day without prior meeting and preparation is not credible.
When you consider that the TPA has been in the vanguard of the green energy rubbishers – Sinclair has even cobbled together a book on the subject – you can see that it would be in that organisation’s interest to get the Tory Party to move away from wind power. So not only are Del Boy and his pal from Daventry involved in the former’s candidacy, the TPA may have played a role too.
So perhaps Sinclair and Wallace would like to come clean: did they attend any meetings, formal or informal, with Heaton Harris and Delingpole? Did the latter pair at any time visit the TPA’s Tufton Street HQ? What was discussed in the lead up to the “breakout session” at the Windsor conference? Was Del’s candidacy a subject at that session? Do records exist of the session? No pressure, chaps.
Delingpole and Heaton Harris are not off the hook yet. And nor are the TPA.