Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Friday 20 November 2015

Tory Bullying Goes Mainstream

Any idea of keeping the lid on the bullying scandal kicking off in and around the Tory Party - pace Toby Young - was ended last night as the story, which had been the preserve of the Mail On Sunday’s political editor Simon Walters, went via a feature on BBC Newsnight to the MoSdaily sister paper, and crucially the Sun, which added up to bad news for the Tories, and RoadTrip 2015 guru Mark Clarke.
And, interestingly enough, it is the Murdoch flagship that has secured the most telling insight into the players in this particularly unpleasant drama. Where the Mail splashes photos of Grant “Spiv” Shapps, Sayeeda Warsi, and Andrew Feldman across its article, the Sun focuses - rightly - on newly ennobled Emma Pidding, and also Shapps’ chief of staff Paul Abbott. The paper also gets the Halfon affair right.
Emma Pidding ... questions

Zelo Street regulars may recall my calling out the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog for suggesting that Harlow MP Rob Halfon had secured the chairmanship of Conservative Future (CF) for Alexandra Paterson, with whom he had begun an affair. This is bunk: it was only after Ms Paterson became CF chair that the affair began. She had secured the post not with Halfon’s help, but Clarke’s.
Paul Abbott (top, second from left) ... questions. Master Cole (front middle) ... questions

Why is the Mail so clueless on the matter? It seems that the suggestion floated some time ago by Private Eye magazine, that relations between the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre and Geordie Greig, who edits the MoS, may not be in the best of states. Had some of their “Questions Tory chiefs MUST answer” been put to Walters, he could have filled in most of the blanks. It seems the two papers are not talking to one another.

When did Conservative HQ first learn of the complaints of bullying, sexual harassment and blackmail against Mark Clarke and what was done about it?” thunders the Mail, to which the obvious answer is, more or less as soon as he got his foot back in the door in 2014, and nothing. “Why was Clarke taken off the candidates’ list after the 2010 election?” And the answer to that one is to ask Sayeeda Warsi, which they haven’t.
Donal Blaney ... questions

Why, despite the complaints about him, was Clarke brought back to campaign with the party in 2014?” Ask Grant Shapps to tell you who influenced his decision. “How did Clarke know the names of complainants and details of their allegations within hours of them giving evidence to CCHQ?” Ask Emma Pidding.
Sam Armstrong and India Brummitt seen flanking Mark Clarke ... questions

So why has the Sun done rather better on the story, including the gratuitous detail that Justine Greening was one of Clarke’s past conquests? Would Clarke’s pal, the odious flannelled fool Henry Cole, now at the paper, care to comment? And what both papers have missed is that, after he was removed from the Tory candidates’ list, Clarke continued as “Director of Outreach” for the Young Britons’ Foundation.

It’s high time the press began to ask questions of YBF head man Donal Blaney, who threw Clarke under the bus recently. Like what did he know about Clarke, and when.


Anonymous said...

Expect a tory daisy chain to form at any moment.

Still, makes a difference from messing around with pigs heads ey?

Anonymous said...

Clarke has said that he will be seeking to press actions for defamation in due course. Will Griffin Law take his instructions?

AndyC said...

Other than being ever pleased with Tory misfortunes of any description, I'm finding it hard to actually give a toss.

Anonymous said...

I saw his threat to sue - its quite often the first reaction of someone caught in the headlights, but it usually means they never get round to doing it.

It opens up the whole episode in a public Court, shines lights into dark corners, sees uncomfortable questions asked and in this case people in high places would be called as witnesses.

rob said...

"So why has the Sun done rather better on the story"

Rather ironic considering their history of office bullying. Or perhaps their mind set not eclipsed by ignorance of such events?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the Halfon-Paterson affair begun after she was elected, so they say. But she had received his backing before the CF elections: