Yesterday, there was a pre-inquest hearing into the death of Tory activist Elliott Johnson, where the lawyer representing Conservative Way Forward (CWF), the group for which Johnson had worked and which made him redundant, told the dead man’s parents “that their son’s mental health and sexuality would be aired in public if they insisted on broadening the scope of the inquest into his death”. Think about that.toured studios recently telling interviewers of his sadness at Johnson’s death, his wish that he could have prevented it, that the whole business was stopping him sleeping at night, and then that he was moving to Florida on a full-time basis to care for his wife, who suffered from a degenerative disease.
Blaney was playing the victim, and playing it rather well, until he put out a missive on the YBF’s Facebook page threatening “retribution” and “deselection” against Tory MPs who declined to bend to the YBF’s will and advocate Britain leaving the EU. At that point, all could see the true nature of the beast. So it was with Mark Clarke, who Johnson had accused of bullying him. He, too, was full of regret at the young man’s death.
He, too, played the victim, calling harassment on journalists who interrupted his recent holiday in Barbados, before making sure anyone and everyone knew that after the bullying saga was over, he was going to set his lawyers on all those who dissed his good name. So it was with André Walker, who claimed to have been in a relationship with Elliott Johnson, and was allowed on the BBC’s Sunday Politics to also play the victim.
Walker claimed not to be a bully or “bruiser”, but as I pointed out yesterday, he has been shown to be both. He talks well, and lies badly. Walker turned up at that pre-inquest hearing to the clear distress of Elliott Johnson’s parents. To the Mail’s credit, they observed “A friend of Mr Johnson said: 'Elliott absolutely adored [Mr Walker] ... I don't think that was reciprocated. Andre is in his late 30s and Elliott was 21’”.
It is no coincidence that a similarly threatening post was published yesterday evening by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog: Staines is an old pal of Blaney and appears to have been getting some of his blog’s recent information on this saga from Clarke. The focus of all this is clear: to get Ray Johnson to back off. And why they should want this was revealed by one of the Tories’ most diligent yes-men.
The Mail’s Andrew Pierce, who does not use the Twitter handle @toryboypierce for nothing, revealed last week that a Police report had concluded “The death of Elliott has highlighted a number of potential administrative failures and potential criminal matters taking place at Conservative Road Trip events”. Many in and around the Tory Party are desperate to keep the lid on this can of worms.
That is because the can of worms has the potential to seriously damage the Tories, as well as finish the careers of a significant number of politicians and their hangers-on. If keeping the Johnson family quiet will help prevent that, then they will be, if at all possible, kept quiet. There will be more - much more - on this story later.