A group of young Tories have released a statement following Guido’s story this morning about the senior activist accused of harassment, Robert Winfield:
“This is a statement to clear up the previously discussed incidents.
Firstly we want to make this clear – we never wanted to go public. We tried numerous times to solve this behind closed doors, we also have the evidence to prove this. This was never about publicity, we have turned down over 30 media invitations, as we don’t see it further helping our cause.
This was never a witch-hunt. We anonymised documents, statements and asked others to do the same, repeatedly.
The Guido Fawkes article was not signed off or written by us. When it was published we immediately asked them to remove names and take it down to risk ruining any investigation.
We have been left with no choice. The party didn’t listen, the association didn’t listen, CPF didn’t listen. So, we had to be bold and be public to ensure our voices were heard. To ensure that people were safe.
What we are asking for is a fair investigation into all allegations.
We want an investigation into the lack of action from Leeds association and YCPF and the potential coverup that occurred. We also want a more transparent, advertised complaints procedure. Where people of all ages, sexualities and genders can lodge complaints in an easy, sign posted way. Training needs to be given to association officers, and a firm, robust safeguarding policy review and training to the voluntary party, and also CCHQ.
We also want a firm commitment from the party that they will continue to stamp out this behaviour in the future.
We would like to thank everyone for the support, but would like to make it clear we do not encourage any naming, bullying, or harassment. Having gone through it ourselves, we do not wish to place that on anyone else.
It is a shame we had to bring this out in public, we never wanted that. This is not us turning on our party. This is not an attack on the leadership. This is just us wanting our voices to not only be heard, but valued.
If you have any of your own experiences or complaints please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will ensure they do not go unheard.
Time for CCHQ to act…
UPDATE: A Conservative spokesman tells Guido: “We take any allegations of this type incredibly seriously and are investigating this matter in line with our procedures.” Guido understands that Winfield has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation…