“After the General Election in 2010 all candidates on the old approved list were asked to re-apply for the new list. Those who applied were interviewed by an assessment panel and a recommendation was put to the Candidates Committee. Several hundred candidates were not invited back onto the list, including Mark Clarke.
“Mark Clarke established RoadTrip2015 on his own initiative to campaign in key constituencies in the run up to the General Election.
“In 2014, Grant Shapps asked Mark Clarke to work in conjunction with the Party’s Team 2015 (the Party’s own volunteer activist organisation).
“We have been unable to find any written complaints of bullying, harassment or any other inappropriate behaviour during this period that were not dealt with. We have checked and rechecked our servers and paper files, and can find nothing.
“The Party is continuing with its internal inquiry which began in August 2015 in response to a formal complaint, received by Lord Feldman, about the behaviour of Mark Clarke.
“The Party’s legal advisers are interviewing and taking statements witnesses willing to come forward, and are considering all the available evidence.
“Once this process is completed, Lord Feldman has asked Simon Davis, a Senior Partner at Clifford Chance LLP, to ensure that the investigation has been thorough and complete. The Party Board will then consider the evidence and decide on the appropriate course of action.
“We would encourage any potential witnesses to continue to come forward, and ask that any evidence of written complaints or other relevant material be made available to the Party so that we can continue with our investigation and complete it properly.”
As Guido revealed earlier, CCHQ’s tactic is to dump on Grant Shapps, who was Tory chairman during Clarke’s time at CCHQ. Worth noting the claim that they cannot find any evidence on their servers. Yet they offer no explanation about Tory MP Ben Howlett’s claim that Lord Feldman knew about the allegations for a long time previously. More developments are expected overnight…