The race to succeed Richard Ottaway MP in the plum Tory seat of Croydon South — majority 15,818 — has claimed the scalps of no less than three advisers to David Cameron over the weekend:
- Oliver Dowden: David Cameron’s deputy chief of staff, who previously admitted he had to listen to Radio 4 each morning to find out what was going on in his own government.
- Laura Trott: Not a Marxist or the Olympic gold medal winning cyclist of the same name. A former SpAd to Francis Maude turned women, education and childcare adviser to Cameron.
- Shaun Bailey: Set up a children’s’ charity to bolster his run for Hammersmith in 2010, when he was a regular feature on Scrapbook. The charity was ditched soon after he entered Number 10 as a special adviser, before leaving while whingeing about being ‘frozen out’ out by an Old Etonian clique.
The fated trio were joined by Boris Johnson’s former deputy mayor for policing Kit Malthouse, who readers may recall tried to block the Met’s investigations into phone hacking. The final shortlist of four candidates, including Girls’ School Association boss Charlotte Vere, is available at the Croydon Advertiser.
Having been dispatched on a doorstep canvassing exercise by the local selection panel, Conservative Home has previously reported that some candidates “faltered badly”.
So did Cameron’s Padawans flop ‘on the knocker’ — or could an an association with Number 10 be a serious handicap with the Tory grassroots?
While the register of hospitality for London City Hall grandees is supposed to be a candid representation of schmoozing for Boris’ team, Scrapbook doesn’t suppose the Evening Standard will thank Kit Malthouse for being quite this candid:
So long, and thanks for all the champagne.
A deputy mayor of London, Kit Malthouse, is behind leaks which led to his colleague and fellow deputy Stephen Greenhalgh being exposed for ‘molesting a female member of staff in a lift’, Scrapbook can confirm.
As we indicated yesterday, the incident, for which Greenhalgh has apologised, is now the territory of a Tory turf war within City Hall. With Greenhalgh finally being hauled before Boris yesterday after Scrapbook broke the news that one of his team were the subject of allegations, the blame game has begun in respect of who knew what and when.
As the director responsible for the department in which the incident occurred, ex-BBC man and City Hall spin doctor Will Walden is likely to come under pressure to explain when he was informed of the incident and whether he followed appropriate procedures.
Why did it take factional external briefings for action to be taken?
In keeping with Boris Johnson’s antipathy towards the numerous hacking investigations, his deputy has been accused of trying to stall the police investigation into News Of The World. As the chair of the Metropolitan Police’s governing body, Kit Malthouse complained to senior officers “several times” about the probe.
In written evidence to the Leveson Inquiry today, former Met Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson spilled the beans, revealing that Boris’ deputy — who moonlights as a hedge fund boss — repeatedly whinged about the investigation:
On several occasions after Operation Weeting had started … the Chair of the MPA, Kit Malthouse, expressed a view that we should not be devoting this level of resources to the phone hacking inquiry as a consequence of a largely political and media driven “level of hysteria”.
In response, Stephenson argued that the media’s behaviour towards “vulnerable members of the public” meant the reopening of the investigation was inevitable.
The revelations come after Boris claimed in an interview with ITV last week that “the caravan should move on” and that too many resources were being spent on the case. Johnson has in the past referred to the furore as “codswallop” and a “politically motivated put-up job”.
True to form, Boris’ administration doing the bidding of the establishment.