The Conservative Party’s attempts to character assassinate one of its own, long-standing supporters, has today unravelled, as the Conservatives Abroad, Madrid branch confirm the position of Benjamin Harris-Quinney as President.
Just days before the General Election, the President of the Conservatives Abroad, Madrid branch, and Chairman of the Bow Group think-tank Benjamin Harris-Quinney called on Tory supporters to vote tactically in order to get UKIP voices in the House of Commons.
Mr Harris-Quinney called for “leading conservative voices like Nigel Farage in South Thanet, and incumbents Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless” to be elected as MPs to ensure that David Cameron’s liberal MPs were counter-balanced.
But what followed was a bizarre row, confected by the Conservative Party’s headquarters, during which they claimed Mr Harris Quinney was not the President of Conservatives Abroad, Madrid – and briefed to the media, most notably Andrew Neil of the BBC, that Mr Harris Quinney was fabricating his involvement with the group.
Other Tory-affiliated blogs jumped into the fight, clearly briefed by the party, who were desperate to make it look like Mr Harris Quinney had no affiliation to them.
But the establishment’s character assassination soon unravelled, as Breitbart London revealed a flurry of increasingly heated exchanges between the Conservative Party’s HQ, and the Conservatives Abroad, Madrid branch.
The central party, it seems, attempted to bypass the democratic mechanisms of the branch, and instead force a decision upon them. One e-mail response to the scenario called Tory HQ “headless chickens” and said: “Central Office” did “not have the authority to expel [Mr Harris Quinney] from our branch – only we do – or am I mistaken that this branch and unlike everyone I know it is run at the behest of Central Office?”
The branch has today confirmed that at no point – despite the BBC and other Tory-briefed websites insisting it – did Mr Harris Quinney stop being the President of Conservatives Abroad, Madrid. A statement released in the past 24 hours said:
“The Conservatives Abroad Madrid 2015 AGM took place on Thursday 11th June. As a result of the committee vote, we are pleased to confirm the following appointments – Olaf Clayton is appointed as Chairman. Richard Lewington is appointed as Vice Chairman. Isidro Abad remains as Treasurer. Dominic McGrath is appointed as Honorary Secretary. Ben Harris-Quinney and Leandro Busto remain as Honorary Life President and Honorary Founder respectively.”
The Conservative Party did not comment on the Conservatives Abroad case, but told Breitbart London that Mr Harris-Quinney had been suspended from the party, with no apparent reason being given.
Mr Harris-Quinney said of the news: “I was appointed as lifetime President of the Madrid branch of Conservatives Abroad because I founded it in 2008, that never changed, but I’m pleased that the branch AGM re-confirmed this with another vote.
“If certain individuals at Conservative Party HQ want to pursue personal vendettas against me and ride roughshod over the Conservative Party’s democratic associations that’s obviously up to them. If, however, [Tory Chairman] Lord Feldman genuinely wants to reform the Conservative Party and [Party Leader] David Cameron wants to clean up corruption, they need look no further than their own offices.”