Theresa May is facing calls to distance herself from her embarrassing cheerleading of Tatler Tory Mark Clarke , which has been caught on video.
The Prime Minister was captured on film at a 2014 election rally, while she was Home Secretary, praising Mr Clarke’s absolutely tremendous work and hailing his controversial Road Trip campaign.
She was also seen encouraging cheers and chants for Mr Clarke, who has since been accused by of bullying or inappropriate behaviour by 13 activists including tragic Elliott Johnson, a 21-year-old volunteer who eventually killed himself last year .
Many of the allegations centre on the Road Trip events. Mr Clarke vehemently denies any wrongdoing.
Shadow Cabinet Minister Jon Ashworth said: This is clearly embarrassing for the Prime Minister and calls into question her judgement. I’d expect her to quickly disassociate herself from these remarks.
Mr Clarke, a failed Tory candidate once tipped by Tatler magazine as a future Cabinet minister, got a key Tory campaign role in 2014 despite concerns about his past behaviour.
In the video from the Rochester and Strood by-election in November 2014, Mrs May tells Mr Clarke before a big crowd: What you are doing is absolutely tremendous. Road Trip 2015 is great. Thank you Mark for all you are doing,
The PM had previously avoided being dragged into the scandal, which has engulfed her party over the past 12 months.
She had hoped to quietly put the issue to bed last week with the publication of a report by law firm Clifford Chance that cleared party bigwigs of wrongdoing – branded a whitewash by Elliott’s dad Ray .
It also emerged Mrs May last week hired one of Mr Clarke’s pals, Jimmy McLoughlin – son of Tory chairman Patrick McLoughlin – as her business adviser on a salary of around £60,000-a-year.
Downing Street would not comment. But a Westminster source said: Theresa is known as an active grassroots campaigner and would always support efforts to get Conservative MPs elected.
Mr Clarke’s lawyers told Clifford Chance’s inquiry that the allegations against him were wholly untrue, unsubstantiated (and) vehemently denied.
News Source MirrorNews