March 18, 2018

Conservative party chiefs warned of election aide’s bullying

Conservative party demands they did not get any proper information about the behaviour of a controversial election aide later accused of bullying an activist who is believed to have killed himself have been contradicted by the uncovering of a letter sent to the then party chairman eight months before the death.

Sayeeda Warsi wrote to Grant Shapps, her successor as party chairman, in January to demand that action be taken against Mark Clarke, a youth organiser for the party, who allegedly bullied 21-year-old political blogger Elliott Johnson before he killed himself in September.

Her letter, dated 20 January, accuses Clarke of publicly abusing her on Twitter and says: “I look forward to hearing from you as to what action you intend to take against … Mr Clarke”.

Lady Warsi told the Guardian she never received a “satisfactory response” to her complaint and said Clarke, who was the Conservative party candidate for Tooting in the 2010 election, was “a disaster waiting to happen and this was common knowledge”.

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