And, as with so many of Cole’s “exclusives”, the story, “TORY BULLY’S SEX COVER-UP”, unravels very rapidly. Not only that, readers are not told just how close Cole and Clarke have been, underscoring the idea that Master Cole is just the latest to throw Clarke under the bus. “Emails are proof party chiefs hid aide complaints” claims the article, and that is the first slice of falsehood: there is only one email shown.
See how appalled they all are at Mark Clarke's presence
This was apparently sent to Clarke from Paul Abbott, then chief of staff to Grant “Spiv” Shapps, and read “I did have to do quite a lot of ‘corralling’ as well, even if you don’t remember it now! This included for example dealing with all the complaints made about RoadTrip and your behaviour - from Associations, young activists, MPs/candidates, and so forth”. So no proof that CCHQ was told - and that is important.
Recognise anyone? Not that they're friends, of course
Because the print version of Cole’s story tells “With sex and bullying allegations swirling, Tory HQ said on Thursday they could find NO evidence of accusations made before August. But the email says there was”. The email does not, and this may be why the online version of the story does not repeat the claim. Thus another Cole “exclusive” is shown to contain a significant claim that is not true.
And it gets worse: any idea that Cole and Clarke were not close friends is easily dispelled - and Abbott whining that Clarke “is an appalling man” is simply pukemaking drivel. First, we can see once more the recent post-cricket match photo showing Cole and Abbott not being even slightly appalled at Clarke’s presence. Then a quick scan of the Cole Twitter feed reinforces the idea that they have been close friends.
“Follow Friday to @TURCPress and their team @AidanBurleyMP @MrMarkClarke @gregsmithsw6 @andrejpwalker and @indiabrummitt” he enthused. Cole was part of the now-moribund Trade Union Reform Campaign along with Clarke and André Walker. On it went: “Off to see @turcpress and @MrMarkClarke for lunch … Follow Friday to Councilman @MrMarkClarke, slayer of the hippy in Farringdon Within”.
Cole even dedicated an award to Clarke: “Chuffed to win YBF Dolphin Award 2012 tonight. Dedicated to @donal_blaney, @mrmarkclarke”. He was a family friend too: “Super excited about tomorrow's column but in the mean time off to meet @MrMarkClarke's baby”. Replying to that one, Donal Blaney, who has also thrown Clarke under the bus recently, said “wishing we could join you there; do pass on our best to them”.