Kent police were contacted on four September by a person being blackmailed by strangers Photograph: Handout
Police are analyzing promises that a Conservative activist was subjected to a blackmail plot just days just before he was thanks to give the celebration evidence against a former parliamentary hopeful suspected of sexual harassment.
A law enforcement force verified that it was contacted by a 19-year-previous man who explained he confronted needs for cash to cease sexually explicit images from being introduced on the internet. Officers have not been in a position to determine the alleged blackmailer, they stated.
Close friends of the man, who is a Tory activist, assert that the blackmail attempt from a Skype account arrived when he was owing to give proof of harassment against women by Mark Clarke, who has since been accused of bullying a number of male colleagues and sexually assaulting a number of female activists.
Clarke was expelled from the Conservative celebration for life before this 7 days following it was claimed that his behaviour was a factor in another younger activist considered to have killed himself.
Clarke has vigorously denied any wrongdoing and claims that he was also targeted by the identical phony account.
A spokesman for Kent police mentioned: “A guy contacted the police on four September alleging that he was currently being blackmailed by strangers. The criminal offense was recorded and enquiries ended up carried out, but no suspects have been recognized.”
In a assertion to the Guardian, Clarke explained: “I welcome any police investigation into this matter. I was also focused by this phony account while in bed with my wife, who was a witness to the endeavor.
“I hope that they discover the culprit and, of system in this tech-enabled age, it is fairly easy to show or disprove this sort of issues if there is a suspect.”
Clarke denied any knowledge of reviews in the Day-to-day Mail that a woman activist has documented him the to the law enforcement. “I deny all these kinds of allegations,” he mentioned.
The developments will deepen intrigue all around Clarke as senior celebration figures struggle to make clear why they failed to look into claims that sexual assault, bullying, drug-having and blackmail had been rife in the party’s youth wing as lately as this summertime.
It has come following the father of the younger Tory activist who is believed to have killed himself right after being bullied by Clarke has called for senior users of the social gathering to “come clean” over the scandal.
Clarke, who dropped to Labour’s Sadiq Khan in Tooting, south London, in 2010, was accused of bullying by 21-year-previous Elliott Johnson ahead of he died.
The Tories exposed on Thursday that previous get together chairman Grant Shapps was accountable for recruiting Clarke.
It has previously been reported that Clarke was leaning on Johnson to retract a criticism he experienced created about him to Conservative marketing campaign headquarters.
Ray Johnson, Elliott’s father, mentioned: “One issue is specified, the Johnson family members will not cease till people who leaked our son’s grievance to Clarke are outed and people dependable for tolerating – or even worse, encouraging Clarke and his minions – are exposed for all to see.
“The Conservative get together owe it to Elliott’s memory and all these younger activists who have experienced at the fingers of Clarke. They have to occur thoroughly clean.”
The celebration had been investigating Clarke because just before Johnson’s dying in September.
A quantity of whistleblowers have appear forward to allege that Clarke, who ran the RoadTrip2015 campaign that bussed young activists close to the nation, was engaged in inappropriate behaviour.
Robert Halfon, deputy chairman of the celebration, was warned prior to the election that Clarke could consider to blackmail him about an affair with a Tory activist.
Ben Howlett, a Conservative MP, informed BBC Newsnight this week that he experienced warned the celebration management about Clarke’s conduct and felt personally bullied in a way that impacted his wellness.
Shapps’s former main-of-employees Paul Abbott said that he complained internally about Clarke in 2014, but that Clarke’s behaviour had worsened this year leading to significantly a lot more severe promises.
“This yr, I made several formal complaints to the social gathering about his behaviour, together with other younger individuals who he has attempted to blackmail or threaten,” he explained. “He is an appalling man and I want I experienced never fulfilled him.”
In the most current accusations, a whistleblower alleged to the Day-to-day Mail there had been issues about Clarke going back at the very least 7 years, which she explained she had despatched to the celebration leadership and Downing Street.
She claimed Clarke experienced compiled dossiers on Tory MPs after encouraging youthful activists to snooze with them and threatened to wipe out her soon after she turned down an undesirable sexual advance. Clarke has claimed the latest allegations are untrue.
Clarke was praised for his perform for the RoadTrip2015 campaign by David Cameron in the course of this year’s election.
In July, the key minister individually informed the Conservative Nationwide Conference that Clarke’s RoadTrip marketing campaign would continue till 2020.
In response to the most current allegations, a Conservative spokeswoman has introduced a lengthy statement that reveals Shapps brought Clarke on board in 2014, in a transfer that will boost strain on the Tory chairman to clarify regardless of whether he experienced ever been aware of any of the grievances. The get together mentioned it would inquire an impartial law firm from the law organization Clifford Chance to assessment its inquiry.
“After the general election in 2010, all candidates on the old accepted listing have been asked to re-use for the new list,” stated the assertion. “Those who used have been interviewed by an evaluation panel and a recommendation was place to the candidates committee. Many hundred candidates ended up not invited back on to the checklist, which includes Mark Clarke.”
“Mark Clarke recognized RoadTrip2015 on his own initiative to marketing campaign in essential constituencies in the runup to the common election. In 2014, Grant Shapps asked Mark Clarke to perform in conjunction with … the party’s possess volunteer activist organisation.
“We have been unable to find any composed complaints of bullying, harassment or any other inappropriate conduct throughout this period that ended up not dealt with … The party is continuing with its inside inquiry which started in August 2015 in response to a official criticism, received by Lord Feldman, about the behaviour of Mark Clarke.
The statement inspired any witnesses to appear ahead.
Clarke has earlier unveiled a statement saying: “I imagine that these fake allegations and this media firestorm are relevant to the activities surrounding Elliott’s sad death. As this sort of, I will be cooperating with the coroner and offering him with the fullest information. This is the correct process. Soon after the inquest, I will search to just take lawful motion for defamation in regard of these allegations.”
Johnson, a Nottingham College graduate who worked for the campaign team Conservative Way Ahead, was located dead on railway tracks at Sandy station in Bedfordshire on fifteen September. He experienced produced a formal criticism to the social gathering about Clarke just before his dying.