Police have formally opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Elliott Johnson, a young Conservative party activist who is believed to have taken his own life following alleged bullying – as reported by Breitbart London last week.
The Conservative Party are also investigating complaints surrounding behaviour that may be connected with the incident, with the Guardian specifically noting that “an inquest that opened on Tuesday heard that British Transport police are investigating claims that Johnson was being bullied by Conservative members and campaigners.”
The Guardian reports:
The coroner told the short hearing hearing at Ampthill, in Bedfordshire, that “he had read in the paperwork certain allegations with regard to the possibility of bullying before Mr Johnson died”. A BTP officer confirmed that they were investigating the allegations, with the assistance of Bedfordshire police.
Johnson’s father, Ray Johnson, said: “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.”
Johnson is understood to have named party members and campaigners in a note left in his bedroom on the day of his death, while the family says that other young activists are believed to have complained of similar treatment.
Following the hearing, the Conservatives confirmed that they had launched an internal inquiry into allegations, which is being overseen by the party’s chairman Lord Feldman and the party’s chief executive, Simon Day. The internal inquiry was launched in August before Johnson’s death.
A spokeswoman for the party 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 mystery surrounding Mr Johnson’s death was further complicated by condolence messages sent by members of the Conservative Party being rejected by Johnson’s family. One cribbed article even disappeared after Elliott’s mother, Angie Johnson, left comments claiming that she did not accept the apologies and condolences of some Tory activists.
Johnson is said to have attended a meeting about Jeremy Corbyn at Portcullis House on the day he died.
“That was the last time I heard from him,” his father Ray told the Guardian.
He went on to make allegations that those close to the Conservative Party will be aware of.
His said: “You think of a party having the same agenda. But there’s uncontrolled factionalism within with people fighting each other for pole position. Elliott was an idealist, but he found himself in a snake pit. He felt like his career prospects were gone. He lived for politics and political journalism. He was dedicated, he was tenacious.”
The investigation continues.
The Samaritans offer free advice to those affected by a suicide, or who have personal problems and are contemplating taking their own life. Their telephone number is 08457 90 90 90.