Former Conservative Party Co-chairman and International Development Minister Grant Shapps has resigned over his failure to act on bullying allegations that are now engulfing the Conservative Party….reports Asian Lite News
Shapps was accused of not acting on claims that Mark Clarke, a party youth organiser and former parliamentary candidate, was a bully.
Elliot Johnson, a 21-year-old party activist, was found dead in September having apparently committed suicide, after claiming Clarke has bullied him. Clarke denies any wrongdoing.
Johnson’s father called on Shapps and party chair and Cameron’s close friend Lord Feldman to resign, saying they should have acted on the claims when they first learned of them.
Clarke had been director of “Road Trip”, a party initiative to bus people in to battle constituencies to campaign.
“Although neither the party nor I can find any record of written allegations of bullying, sexual abuse or blackmail made to the chairman’s office prior to the election, I cannot help but feel that the steady stream of those who raised smaller, more nuanced, objections should have perhaps set alarm bells ringing sooner,” Shapps wrote in his letter to Cameron.
“In the end, I signed that letter appointing Mark Clarke ‘director of Road Trip’ and I firmly believe that whatever the rights and wrongs of a serious case like this, responsibility should rest somewhere.
“Given the very serious nature of what has subsequently occurred and my role in appointing Mr Clarke, I cannot help but conclude that the only right course of action is for me to step down as a Minister in your government.”
In his response, Cameron said: “I know you have much more to give in the years ahead.”
The prime minister said he would “always remember” that Shapps had been “a loyal and trusted supporter of mine from the very beginning”.
“You have made a lasting contribution to the work of the Government, but you have also been a faithful servant of our party, and I know you have much more to give in the years ahead,” he added.