Wandsworth Conservatives were once a flagship campaigning force, whose success was emulated across the country. They were held up as a shining example of what the Tories could do in local government. Fast forward five years and it stands on the brink; riddled with infighting and shamed by accusations of corruption and cover ups. The scandal is centred around the group’s agent at the last election Rob Morritt who was exposed for fraudulently cooking the books to hide more than £30,000 in missing money and a secret £25,000 Addison Lee bill. Blank cheques, dodgy expenses and lies – Morritt used every trick in the book.
When this was exposed internally in 2010 it was ignored and NDAs were drawn up to try make the issue go away, yet Guido exposed the truth. Three years later and Morritt has managed to get himself elected as a Putney councillor but tonight he finally faces losing the whip when the Tory council group meet to determine his fate. They have been shamed into action by an independent report that confirmed the allegations Guido made. The vote tonight requires a two thirds majority to remove the whip. Despite the council leader Ravi Govindia kicking the stool away from his former campaign manager, plus the evidence of two investigations piled up against Morritt, it’s expected to go to the wire. Bizarrely there are still those willing to defend him. It’s time to lance this boil.