Rumours Conservative party activist Elliott Johnson took his own life following a family argument over his supposed sexuality have triggered an angry rebuttal from his family, who say his suicide note proves he was bullied to death by senior party figures.
The inquest into the death of 21 year old Elliott Johnson is to commence this coming week, and follows an internal investigation within the Conservative party which saw the expulsion of director Mark Clarke and resignation of minister Grant Shapps.
The latest development in the scandal which commenced with the death of the activist last year has seen Mr. Johnson’s parents release a fragment of his suicide note to dispel claims he was struggling with his sexuality, and so took his life. The note, as reported by the Daily Mail apparently read:
“Dear Mum and Dad,
“Well what can I say. By the time you read this I will no longer be here. Sorry. I love you so much I can’t explain. I failed in life despite your help, for which I am very thankful.
“These past few weeks have been the worst of my life. I find myself on the work scrapheap. My choice is end it now or wait till the death of my career when the money runs out. I have also been involved in a huge political issue. I have been bullied by Mark Clarke and betrayed by Andre Walker. Now all my bridges are burnt. Where can I go from here? I am sorry it has come to this and hope you can recover after a time. I want you to be together and get over my death. The help you have given me is truly awe-inspiring. It is hard to put it into words.
“I love you so much. Never forget this. I love Harriet and Charlotte [his sisters] too. I will see you soon: fate cannot keep us apart for ever. I will see you on the other side. I love you. I love you so much yet I must make this decision. It is hard for me but the rest of my life would be a never ending torture. That’s how I see it. Love you so much and the rest of the family.
Mr. Johnson’s father, Ray Johnson made a specific response to the allegations and said: “It is totally wrong to say we argued with Elliott over being gay… Nor is there any mention of rows in the police report into his death. It is a distortion. I want to know who leaked it and why. It looks like a smear.
“When Elliott told us he thought he might be gay at about 16, we did what any loving parents would do: we talked about it to him and tried to help. He wasn’t sure himself at first.
“He was at a boys’ school and involved in so many activities. He had little time for girls anyway. He was very intellectually sophisticated, but not emotionally. We told him not to rush it. I have many gay friends. All we wanted was for our son to be happy”.
Meanwhile the Mail has also released a 15 minute long tape recording made by Elliott Johnson. The conversation is between him and Mr. Clarke, where Mr. Clarke admits telling his Mr. Johnson’s employers – Conservative Way Forward – about a “caution” received for a minor election offence. The police have stated there was no caution, and Mr. Johnson believed that Mr. Clarke’s warning to his employer may have led to his eventual sacking – the same sacking which he cited in his suicide note as a reason for taking his own life.
Mr. Clarke can be heard in the tape quizzing Mr. Johnson over his finances and job prospects. The inquest is this week, but is not believed to be ruling on the bullying allegations themselves.
Mr. Clarke and Mr. Walker deny any wrongdoing.
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.