In last night’s statement Wandsworth Council declared that they would be suspending Tory fraud suspect Councillor Robert Morritt at their next council meeting. What they did not mention is the fact that the next full council meeting is at the end of October. Council sources also indicate that Robert Morritt has not had the Conservative whip withdrawn. Wandsworth Tories are back to ignoring Guido’s follow up questions. Despite being suspected of defrauding Wordsworth Conservatives, it has fallen to the council to take to action. The local party seems in complete paralysis – Morritt has refused to resign and is digging his heels in.
The statement itself is once again riddled with inaccuracy. For example, the claim that “all the allegations concern his alleged activity before he became a councillor.” This is just not true. Agent Morritt became a Councillor Morritt on election day in May 2010. When he was sacked from Wandsworth Tories, he was a councillor. A clear allegation made by Guido here certainly relates to when Morritt was a councillor. Subsequent investigations that resulted in Morritt paying back £5,000 all took place in late 2010 when Morritt was sitting on the Wandsworth Council. Silence though…
For the sake of transparency, here are the questions that Wandsworth Council and Wandsworth Tories are avoiding:
- The next council meeting is not until 17 October, so Morritt’s suspension will not be effected for nearly nine weeks. Will he continue to attend committee meetings until that time?
- Will his expenses and attendance fees connected with committee membership be withdrawn immediately, when he is formally suspended, or not at all?
- Does he remain a member of the Conservative Group on Wandsworth Council? If so, does he continue to attend political meetings with fellow Conservative councillors? Does he continue to receive Conservative Group papers and communications?
- If he is still a member of the Conservative Group on Wandsworth Council, what steps have been taken to suspend him from it? When will his suspension be effected?
- Is he still deputy chairman of Putney Conservative Association? Have there been any discussions with CCHQ about this? What is Justine Greening’s view?
- If he is still deputy chairman of Putney Conservative Association, what steps have been taken to remove him from this post? When will this be effected?
- What investigation is it that Council Leader Ravi Govindia now anticipates will be undertaken into this affair? Who will lead it? What will its terms of reference be?
As Guido said at the beginning of this expose, this goes all the way up.
Wandsworth Conservatives seem to be making it particularly hard for themselves by thinking if they say nothing it will all go away.