Cllr Andy Peterkin freemason

The latest revelation to emerge from the increasingly putrid ‘bullying’ scandal engulfing the Conservative Party is ‘Tatler Tory’ Mark Clarke and his pals’ membership of the same masonic lodge, among them lawyer and Tory councillor Andy Peterkin (above left) — who when bullying claims emerged backed Clarke to the hilt:

“Mark Clarke is one of my best mates. Feel free to unfriend me if that offends you.”

Intriguing then, that Cllr Peterkin has omitted to mention his membership of Phoenix Lodge in his register of members’ interests for Wandsworth Council:

Andy Peterkin register of interests

Back in 2004 the Standards Board for England ruled that councillors must declare any links to freemasonry to prevent conflicts of interest in town hall decision making:

“Freemasons must register membership of their freemason lodge on the register of interests and, where appropriate, declare their membership as a personal or prejudicial interest before, or during, council meetings.”

But there is now no national requirement for councillors to declare their membership of such secretive societies. The Standards Board for England was abolished as part of reforms driven through parliament by Tory local government minister Bob Neill along with the safeguards it oversaw, an ethics regime which Neill later described as “top heavy and excessive”.

Could this be the same Bob Neill that was forced by that very standards regime to reveal his status as a freemason and membership of the Greater London Lodge?

Mark Clarke strongly denies any wrongdoing. There is no suggestion of direct involvement in the Tory ‘bullying’ scandal by Andy Peterkin, who has stated he is not giving Clarke legal or other advice.

  1. I am a female Freemason – Yes we exist! and am proud to state myself to be so – However, I do not wish to ever be COMPELLED to declare my membership – That way lies a very slippery slope that was familiar in Germany 80 years ago or so.

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