Guido has spoken with Amjad Bashir by telephone this afternoon to ask him for a response to the slew of stories that have emerged about him over the last 48 hours. An extremely nervous sounding MEP refused to comment, pleading that he had been gagged his new party:
“I’m not allowed to give a statement. They have all the answers”.
When Guido asked if he had ever been a member of Respect, he hung up.
Yesterday a Conservative Party spokesman contacted Guido to directly ask him to clarify that Bashir “denied he’s ever had anything to do with Respect”. Today that line has shifted to silence. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Tories were misled by Bashir in this regard.
First thing this morning Guido contacted the CCHQ to ask which of these allegations Bashir now denied:
- He was previously a member of the Labour Party.
- He was previously a member of the UK Independence Party.
- He was previously a member of the Respect Party.
- He was previously a member of the Conservative Party (prior to this time, if indeed he is now actually now a paid up party member).
- That he was a director of a restaurant which was raided for employing illegal immigrants.
- That he withdrew a complaint about reporting of the restaurant matter on counsel’s advice because his counsel felt he was misled about the facts of the matter.
A full working day later and they have refused to comment. Instead, Bashir’s Twitter account has mysteriously been deactivated and he has been banned from the airwaves. Is the Prime Minister still ‘delighted’ by the defection?