Minister Warned CCHQ About Rape Arrest Aide

armstrong

CCHQ were warned months ago that they should sack Sam Armstrong, the Tory aide who has been arrested over an alleged rape in the Commons. Back in June Rob Halfon appealed to Lord Feldman to remove Armstrong from his job with South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay. Halfon told Feldman that Armstrong had attempted to blackmail him – something Armstrong denies – and said it was “ridiculous” that he was still being employed. Despite this, and despite the Tories banning Armstrong from party conference last year, they allowed Mackinlay keep him on the payroll and give him a parliamentary pass. Why did Mackinlay keep Armstrong in a job? Why did Feldman fail to act? Armstrong would of course have known a lot about the South Thanet general election campaign’s expenses – which is also currently under police investigation. This has the potential to blow up in CCHQ’s faces…

mdi-timer 18th October 2016 @ 10:52 am 18th Oct 2016 @ 10:52 am mdi-comment Comments
CCHQ’s Battle Bus Guidance Revealed

battlebus

Where do the Tories stand on the election fraud scandal? They are bang to rights on failing to declare £38,000 of hotel bills for Tory activists, blaming an “administrative error”. The issue of transport – the fabled “battle buses” – is contested. There are three outcomes here. Are CCHQ right when they say they’ve done nothing wrong? Did they breach the rules on national and local spending? Or was there a conspiracy to hide spending from the official declarations?

Leaked emails reveal CCHQ told their local campaign teams that the cost of hotels and battle buses would be “accounted for out of central campaign spend”. It stressed transport within the seat was not included: “For legal reasons the Battlebus cannot ferry people around the seat”.

The arrangement had the “personal sponsorship” of Grant Shapps, was “signed off” by Lynton Crosby, Stephen Gilbert and Lord Feldman, and was “supported by Deborah Feldman’s Team in CCHQ“. That’s Lord Feldman’s sister.

The good news for the Tories is this shows they did see battle buses as part of the national campaign all along, and demonstrates they were taking steps to abide by spending laws. So they can argue there wasn’t a conspiracy to hide the cash. The bad news? If the cops find it should have gone down as local spend, the party chairman and his sister are implicated…

mdi-timer 13th May 2016 @ 11:33 am 13th May 2016 @ 11:33 am mdi-comment Comments
Shapps Throws Feldman Under the Battle Bus

The Tory election expenses scandal is ramping up a notch. Grant Shapps made it crystal clear on the Daily Politics which of the two Tory co-chairman was responsible:

“I can tell you absolutely that compliance was not my area… compliance wasn’t my side of things, campaigning side was my side of things but not the money or the finance”

Asked who was responsible, Shapps replied: “Other people at CCHQ”. The co-chairman in charge of the other “side of things” was Lord Feldman…

Meanwhile the Electoral Commission is meeting with the CPS and police today to decide on applying to extend the limit on prosecuting election expense allegations. Stay tuned…

mdi-timer 4th May 2016 @ 1:21 pm 4th May 2016 @ 1:21 pm mdi-comment Comments
Feldman Gets Cricked

An out of breath Michael Crick at his best…

mdi-timer 10th March 2016 @ 3:55 pm 10th Mar 2016 @ 3:55 pm mdi-comment Comments
Feldman ‘Given Clarke Dossier in 2010’

More evidence has emerged seeming to contradict Lord Feldman’s claim that he was “wholly unaware” of bullying allegations against Mark Clarke before August 2015. Newsnight say Tory MP Ben Howlett, then a young party activist, handed a dossier of bullying allegations – including claims against Clarke – to Feldman and Sayeeda Warsi in 2010. This appears to finally explain what Howlett meant when he said Feldman had known about Clarke “for a very long period of time”. Howlett himself is still staying silent. If Feldman was really handed a dossier containing claims about Clarke in 2010, why did he say he was “wholly unaware” before August 2015?

This Facebook post from former CCHQ aide Michael Lunn is also curious. Lunn was seen as a fixer for Conservative Future in Tory HQ between 2007 and 2010. Guido is told that he dealt with complaints about Clarke as far back as 2008. His testimony would surely show that CCHQ knew about the claims against Clarke for years, yet for some strange reason the Tories’ own internal inquiry failed to call him. Despite Feldman’s claims to the contrary, more and more evidence is coming to light that he and CCHQ knew about Clarke not for months, but for years…

mdi-timer 9th December 2015 @ 8:55 am 9th Dec 2015 @ 8:55 am mdi-comment Comments
Feldman’s Record Breaking Disapproval Swing

Beleagured Lord Feldman’s Tory bullying troubles have not gone unnoticed among party members. The Tory chairman has suffered a record-breaking 53 point drop in his net satisfaction rating among ConHome readers, the largest one month fall ever recorded. He is also the first to have a negative approval rating this parliament. ‘Red Hot’ Rob Halfon also took a battering and is down to second from bottom. How’s that whole buck-stopping-with-Shapps thing working out for ya?

mdi-timer 2nd December 2015 @ 10:00 am 2nd Dec 2015 @ 10:00 am mdi-comment Comments
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