Shapps: Defection of “Mr Bashir” Was “Successful”

Grant Shapps’ speech this morning bashing Labour’s “month of chaos” descended into a Q&A about Amjad Bashir. Asked by Guido about Amjad’s links with Respect, the Tory chairman insisted “I welcome anybody, regardless of where they’ve been in the past… with the exception of extreme parties”. Presumably George Galloway’s loony left mob aren’t “extreme”.

Shapps wouldn’t be drawn on how he feels about Bashir telling the Tories he had never had anything to do with Respect, telling Guido “Mr Bashir will no doubt answer any of your questions”. Despite “Mr Bashir”, as Shapps repeatedly called him, revealing the Tories had banned him from speaking to the press. As a third question came in Shapps protested “I can’t believe cynical hacks are believing this stuff. It’s pretty desperate”, insisting “yes”, it has still been a “successful” defection. Tempting fate with the Sundays sniffing around…


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