Wandsworth Tories Worried About Whitewash

The news from Wandsworth Conservatives yesterday that a semi-independent inquiry into serious fraud covered up in the group has been greeted with scepticism by members involved in the exposing of the story. Two sources familiar with previous investigations are particularly unhappy. One emailed Guido saying:

“Every internal inquiry has produced a confidential damning report accompanied by a public “move along, nothing to see here” approach. They even made people sign gagging agreements in order to cover the discrepancies between the public smile and the internal stench. To reassure members and voters that Wandsworth Conservatives have not been complicit in fraud and electoral malpractice the Conservative Party need to commit to publishing the previous internal reports, this report in full and to rescind the previous gagging agreements. That those who know the facts and have been raising concerns have been ignored in this process points towards yet another attempted whitewash and yet another step closer to a full police and electoral commission investigation.”

Another added:

“Finally there is recognition of the huge black hole in the books. However, there is considerable concern amongst members that this inquiry is essentially just a way of killing a story before it gains any more traction. At the end of the day, the guy was sacked for charging thousands of pounds of personal taxi fares to party members and then falsifying accounts to cover it up. You don’t need to be a forensic accountant to work out that the law was broken, repeatedly.”

At the moment it would appear that the investigation’s findings will not be made public…

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Jo Swinson on Chris Rennard…

“Vince — and Tim before him — have repeatedly, publicly said Rennard is not welcome anywhere near their frontbench team, even as an adviser. I remain deeply frustrated that he was not expelled from the party through its disciplinary process. It just feels wrong, and I do not want Lord Rennard to continue as a member of the party. As far as I am concerned, he is not welcome.”

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