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Saturday 10 October 2015

EXCLUSIVE Tory Bullying - Net Widens

[Update at end of post]

The Tories might think last week’s conference went swimmingly: the gullible pundits swallowed Young Dave’s PR flannel without question, anyone demonstrating outside the venue was successfully linked personally to Jeremy Corbyn, and the looming spectre of organised bullying was kept out of view. But I have to tell the inmates of CCHQ that someone is still on their case, and there is bad news coming.
In happier times: Elliott Johnson at left, with Mark Clarke behind

What is coming can be put directly: I can reveal that tomorrow’s Mail On Sunday is intending to not only revisit the Elliott Johnson story, but also widen the scope to include several of those who have made complaints about Road Trip 2015 top man Mark Clarke, which allege not only verbal abuse and bullying, but also inappropriate behaviour towards young women. The MoS has statements. They will quote directly from them.

What the MoS may also touch upon is the presence of one Emma Pidding, a former Chiltern District councillor who was made a CBE for voluntary policial service in the 2014 New Year Honours. She is a former Chairman of the National Conservative Convention and has just been made a life peer. She was also part of Clarke’s Road Trip 2015 team, being given the title of Chairman. She and Clarke are believed to be close.
Mark Clarke, India Brummitt, Grant Shapps ... and Emma Pidding

Indeed, my sources have indicated that this closeness is one reason that Clarke has thus far avoided expulsion from the party. It gets worse: it has been put to me, on behalf of one of Clarke’s victims, that they believe Emma Pidding informed Clarke not just of the nature of each and every complaint against him, but also the identities of those who made them. That would explain the reluctance of others to come forward.

A Road Trip 2015 activist, speaking on condition of anonymity, has contacted Zelo Street, and has given me this statement: “All of us knew how close Pidding and Clarke were, and that in itself meant many victims struggled to come forward because they knew it could end their political careers if Clarke ever found out”.
Emma Pidding, family friend

There’s more: “This woman has  been given a peerage by the party as well as being Chairman of Road Trip. She has still not apologised to the victims and has yet to condemn Mark Clarke and Andre Walker. She was acting like nothing had happened at conference in Manchester but until she withdraws her support for Clarke and Walker she should be suspended too”. The latter name is that of André Walker.

Emma Pidding was a member of the party’s board. This, I am told, means that she would have had access to details of complaints made about activists - including Clarke. Her closeness to the centre of power can be seen in the photo of her and Clarke with Grant “Spiv” Shapps and India Brummitt.

Her closeness to Clarke can be seen in the photo above, taken from Clarke’s Facebook wall. The caption reads “Look what I found … a picture of Road Trip 2020 Chairman, Emma Pidding CBE, showing her baby skills with my [name redacted]!

This saga is potentially complex and messy for the Tories. Will they clean their stables, or try to paper over the cracks? One thing is sure - there is more to come.

[UPDATE 11 October 1525 hours: the Mail On Sunday has indeed revisited the story, and you can read the result HERE.

Just why the paper put their lame smear of Tom Watson, rather than the better sourced story on the Tories' bullying problem, on today's front page is a mystery.

Zelo Street will revisit this story soon. Meanwhile, those reading the MoS story are warned that it does not make easy reading]


Anonymous said...

Of all the hypocritical lies and bullshit the tories manufactured via their public school chums and media shills (typically, but not limited to, the Daily Heil and the Scum) the biggest was the claptrap about "family" values.

Who can forget the disgusting propaganda leveled against Sara Keays on behalf of Seesil Parkinson? Or the comic image of Edwina Currie being shagged by grey John Major? Or the appalling Jeffrey Archer ending up with Sweet Pants in the slammer? Or the perjury of Jonathan Aitken?

So this sordid saga is merely more of the same. They'll NEVER change, the corrupt, self-serving, thieving gobshites.

Anonymous said...

Pidding and Clarke are super close to each other. I saw her on his knee on one Road Trip event.

rob said...

@ Anon 02:08

Surely that's just a knee jerk reaction?