Tory HQ tried to deny a Scrapbook story linking a minister’s affair to a hotel where he had claimed more than £25,000 on MPs’ expenses — before being forced to admit the connection over the weekend.
Following revelations of Robert Halfon’s cheating with a young party activist, this blog was first out the traps to link MPs’ expenses to trysts with his mistress, publishing the story ‘Did Tory minister put ‘affair expenses’ on taxpayer-funded Barclaycard?’.
“I do NOT have a second home, as my only home is in Harlow. I stay instead, in a small single room, in a local hotel.”
It had been reported that an ally of ‘bullying scandal’ Tory Mark Clarke planned to film Mr Halfon leaving this ‘local hotel’ (aka the, errrrm, posh East India Club) with activist Alexandra Paterson as part of an alleged ‘blackmail plot’. Clarke strongly denies any wrongdoing.
Looking to kill our expenses story a spokesman from Tory HQ soon got in touch:
“This is completely untrue. She never stayed there.”
But when the mainstream media followed up Scrapbook at the weekend the party seemed to concede that Halfon had secretly met his mistress at the venue — but not overnight:
“A spokesman for the MP insisted Miss Paterson had not stayed at the club overnight.”
Have the desperate Tories developed a habit of fibbing in respect of a scandal which has now spawned a police probe?
They previously insisted that party chairman Lord Feldman had been “wholly unaware” of bullying allegations …
… and then one of their own MPs told a Newsnight investigation: “Lord Feldman has been well aware of all of this for a very long period of time”.