The conference passes of three top Conservative activists have been cancelled in the wake of the death of 21 year-old party member Elliott Johnson last week.
The Conservative party has opened its own internal investigation into the death, reportedly by suicide, of Johnson after he left a note about being bullied Breitbart London reported this morning. The internal investigation is running concurrently to the official police investigation of Johnson’s death, who are looking into “claims that Johnson was being bullied by Conservative members and campaigners”.
Guido Fawkes reports three Conservatives have now been banned from the party’s upcoming annual conference in relation to the death, and it seems likely the move has come as a result of the internal investigation. Two of those banned have been named as Mark Clarke and Sam Armstrong, the third has yet to be identified. Clarke is a former candidate for the party and ran the successful Roadtrip 2015 campaign to take young activists to marginal seats, and was preparing the groundwork for 2020. Armstrong was involved with Conservative Future, the modern incarnation of the Young Conservatives youth movement.
Mark Clarke made many threats to me-not least on the child abuse scandal. That CCHQ knew nothing is rubbish he-was acting on their behalf.
— Ben Harris-Quinney (@B_HQ) September 23, 2015
A party spokesman said:
“Everyone in the Conservative Party is deeply saddened at the death of Elliott Johnson. The circumstances surrounding his death are in the hands of the Coroner and it is not appropriate to comment on those at this time.
The Party’s own, separate, disciplinary inquiry is in relation to complaints received from Mr Johnson and others against a member of the Party.
This initial disciplinary inquiry was launched as soon as a complaint was received in August 2015. An individual has had their membership suspended, pending the outcome of a full disciplinary panel.
Three individuals have had their Conference accreditation rescinded.”
Johnson’s father has spoken out, demanding answers, saying: “We want to find out who did these things and what happened to Elliott. We want to know how long the Conservative party had concerns and why nothing was done to keep young people safe. If this is happening to young activists we don’t want anyone else to suffer in this way”.
It is understood his family have rejected condolences from the Conservative party.