Bullying allegation-riddled Conservative Party director Mark Clarke will face a disciplinary hearing, and more young Tories are being urged to come forward with stories about how they’ve been treated by party members and officials, according to a leaked e-mail from the Party Chairman’s office.
The news comes just days after Mr. Clarke, who is at the centre of bullying allegations, including some of a sexual nature, was named in the Mail on Sunday as having targeting young Tory activists for sex. The party chairman’s e-mail, originally reported by Buzzfeed UK, says: “I am writing to you as a member of Conservative Future following recent events concerning a number of members and activists.
“Firstly, I must reiterate the sadness of everyone in the Conservative Party at the news of Elliott Johnson’s death last month. You may be aware that there is an ongoing coroner’s inquiry and an investigation by the British Transport Police surrounding the circumstances of this.
“Separately to that, the Party is undertaking a formal investigation following complaints of bullying received against a member of the Party. A panel of the Disciplinary Committee, under the chairmanship of Edward Legard, will hold a formal hearing in accordance with the Party’s disciplinary procedures. Edward is a Barrister who specialises in employment and equality law and also sits as an Employment Judge.
“Secondly, if any other complaints are made against members of the Party we will formally investigate these in accordance with our disciplinary procedures. The Party has always taken such complaints seriously and I can assure you that any complaint will be treated with the utmost sensitivity and confidentiality.
“If you or any other member of CF wish to make such a complaint they should contact Simon Day, our Chief Executive, at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Lord Feldman, the party chairman, has said that the party is offering a counselling service “to all staff and volunteers who may be affected” by the death of Mr. Johnson who named Mr. Clarke in an apparent suicide note. Critics have suggested that almost a full month after Mr. Johnson’s death, the counselling service may not have come fast enough.
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.