As the Sun joins the chorus calling for the head of Tory chairman Andrew Feldman, with the party’s bullying scandal having already claimed the scalp of Grant “Spiv” Shapps, editor Tony Gallagher is seemingly still not asking why the stories brought to him by alleged “Westminster Correspondent” Harry Cole have suggested the influence of now-disgraced Mark Clarke - including the latest one.
The Sun misses out the one on the right
Let me put this directly: Cole’s stories have featured signed original letters to Clarke from Shapps, and David Cameron. Those letters can only have been made available by the recipient - Mark Clarke. Cole has not - yet - admitted to contact with his long-standing friend. But there must have been some sort of contact, otherwise those letters would not have been made available to the paper.
Clarke’s hand may have influenced today’s Sun splash, with Cole’s name one of two on the by-line (the other being Steve Hawkes), under the mock horror title “PM’s Pal Under Pressure … TORY CHIEF MUST STOP LORDING IT … Bully victim dad’s call”. Here, the Sun pretends that its story enjoys the approval of Elliott Johnson’s dad Ray, although it should be noted that he apparently has not spoken to Cole or Hawkes.
There is even a helpful and supposedly comprehensive graphic showing all the alleged participants in the bullying scandal … except one. Who is missing? Someone who is a family friend of Mark Clarke, who, it has been claimed, leaked details of complaints to him. Step forward newly-ennobled Emma Pidding, whose presence in the affair has been magically airbrushed out, almost as if Clarke had ordered it.
Look who's missing ... so why is that?
Emma Pidding was chair of the National Conservative Convention. She was also responsible in part for the RoadTrip 2015 operation masterminded by Clarke. The inquiry already under way within the Tory Party is understood to have her on its list of those that will be interviewed as part of the process. She is alleged to have been Clarke’s protector. Yet she is absent from the Sun’s supposedly comprehensive article.
As Simon Walters of the Mail On Sunday - who, to his credit, has been on this story from the word go - put it, “Newly ennobled Baroness Emma Pidding, a personal and political ally of Clarke and chairman of his rebranded Road Trip 2020, also faces questions. She arranged for Clarke to be feted by Cameron in public at the Conservative National Convention in July”. But she doesn’t face questions in the Sun.
It is entirely possible that Andrew Feldman has to go; after all, several papers are putting that proposition this morning. And it is equally possible that Harry Cole’s omission of Emma Pidding’s name is down to ineptitude rather than deliberate deception. But the impression that Mark Clarke is wielding influence on the journalistic process with the assistance of his pal is inescapable. And it stinks to high heaven.
Will Tony Gallagher now put Cole on the spot? Sooner or later, he will have to.
The barrenness of Harry Cole's reporting might/should leave a situation vacant?
In the past Dirty Harry has let it slip that he trashes and sends dirt on his chosen victims to the Chancellor and others. Plus he idolises Crosby; literally adores his every hair and probably keeps a lock of it under his pillow in a perfume scented envelope. It's no secret to those who drink in the East East India Club or the Marquis of his friendship with Clarke, then there are Dirty's pictures of drunken and drugged women, one of who tried to end her days. He would make a nice jail bride for some lucky armed robber in the showers. Bring on the wedding dress and handcuffs.
The Scum and its clerks hiding behind the victim's father.
Who'da thought it?
Unlike Hillsborough disaster they can't attack the victims, so.......
Baroness Pidding is now calling for an independent inquiry into Clarkegate claiming she has nothing to hide.
interesting comment utl by Lindsay Jenkins:
"All those who went by appointment and carefully anonymously to complain to Simon Mort in September were immediately known to Clarke who immediately threatened them.
That implies considerable Clarke leverage within CCHQ as well as potentially a nasty piece of work. That Clarke has had influence for at least 5 years since the Tooting fiasco is also worrying."
Sounds like yet another Jonathan Aitken/Jeffrey Archer/Seesil Parkinson/Leon Brittan tory moment.
All we need now is their usual bullshit about "Victorian values."
They'll never change. They'll always be everything wrong in British life. Selfish, utterly corrupt, thieving thugs in suits. Damned sociopaths the lot of them.
On the subject of "Victorian values", don't forget Tim Yeo, who promoted this load of nonsense, only to be found to be having an extra marital relationship which resulted in a "love child". Yeo has been in the news again after being heavily criticized by a judge in a libel trail (which he lost) for being "economical with the truth".
He missed out the Pidding since the article is written by one of Pidding's ardent Worshipful puddings.
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