Boris Johnson and the dangerous Tory smear campaign

Posted by Tim Ireland at 8 March 2011

Category: Anne Milton, Tories! Tories! Tories!

This entry was posted on
Tuesday, March 8th, 2011
at
11:43 am and is filed
under Anne Milton, Tories! Tories! Tories!.

I was producing/administrating Boris Johnson’s weblog at the time Anne Milton’s activists were smearing an opponent as a paedophile, but I went out of my way to avoid jeopardising the all-too-rare example of a Conservative MP subjecting themselves to a little public scrutiny (most of them still treat it like it’s kryptonite; a point I plan to return to, with gusto, shortly).

Hell, I even bit my tongue when Boris jovially referenced Anne Milton during a meeting and described the relevant dispute as a “personal disagreement”.

I was a fool. I should have known this effort was pointless (Boris essentially shunned his blog and the loyal supporters running it from the moment he was elected mayor), and I should have pressed him on this matter.

In fact, I’ve often wondered how things would have turned out if I used my position to press the point with Boris Johnson at the time, and now I’ve got a pretty good idea because, as the following correspondence reveals, someone else took it up with Boris Johnson at the time (after his public endorsement of Anne Milton) and he took no discernable action.

As in the previous post, this correspondence has been edited ONLY to avoid publicising the target of the smear and revealing the name of the person complaining about it, with the latter measure being necessary to avoid potential reprisals from those (still active) supporters of Milton’s who do things like broadcast my home address in revenge attacks while repeating her accusation of stalking (while this ‘wonderful’ MP pretends it’s none of her concern):

From: Xxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Fri 2/2/2007 5:34 PM
To: johnsonb@parliament.uk
Subject: University of Surrey

Dear Boris,

I was present at your appearence at the University of Surrey Students’ Union – thank you for making the short journey from London. As someone interested in politics – though certainly not of your colour – it was refreshing to see that you attracted plenty of people.

I’m afraid I have to take exception with your comments about Anne Milton. She is far from being a wonderful MP ‘fighting crime on the streets’. She’s is both ineffective and profoundly dishonest. Two Conservative local activists, who will be standing in the local elections, and who were sitting in the front row at your appearence, have been involved in dirty campaign involving the setting up of a libellous blog to spread viscious rumours about a political opponent [snip]. This has been exposed by Tim Ireland – the person who built your weblog – and David Cameron’s office has been made aware. You can read the details at Tim’s site by following the links in this article: [link snipped] Anne Milton has known about this campaign for a substantial amount of time and, by not reacting to it, she has provided her tacit support to such revolting measures. Today, you provided the bumbling yet ever-so-lovable face of the Tory party and you clearly captivated the students – this is no doubt due to your affable nature. It is also incredibly dangerous. Dirty campaigns such as this one, which are supported by your MPs and even your leadership, show that the Conservative party is still insidious to its core. It truly deserves the ‘nasty party’ label. I’m disappointed that you extended your support to Anne Milton today, though I appreciate that you were probably unaware of what has been going on in Guildford. If, as I hope you do, you find this repulsive, then please have a word in David Cameron’s ear and get him to make it clear that such actions won’t be tolerated.

Thanks,

Xxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxx

——————-

From: Xxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: 11 February 2007 23:02
To: JOHNSON, Boris
Subject: FW: University of Surrey

Dear Boris,

I sent this email just over a week ago and have not yet received a reply. I’m re-sending it because it’s possible that it got lost in my university’s email system.

Best wishes,

Xxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxx

——————-

From: JOHNSON, Boris [JOHNSONB@parliament.uk]
Sent: Mon 2/12/2007 11:15 AM
To: Xxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: RE: University of Surrey

Boris Johnson notes your comments.

Frances Banks
Boris Johnson’s office

——————-

From: Xxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: 05 March 2007 17:48
To: JOHNSON, Boris
Subject: RE: University of Surrey

As comforting as that is, it’s now over a month since my original email and the blog in question is still live and being updated with further libellous content. You, David Cameron, Anne Milton and the Guildford Conservative Association are all aware of this and have been for some time, yet it continues. When will it stop? Will it take vigilante action on the person targeted for the Conservative Party to say enough is enough? Everyone is aware how emotive child abuse is and unfounded accusations like this put someone in potential danger – I’m sure you remember the incident of a paediatrician being set upon by local do-gooders.

Take the opportunity to distance yourself from such sick-minded members of the Tory party and my local MP who continues her shameful tacit support of this person.

Kind regards,

Xxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxx

——————-

From: JOHNSON, Boris [JOHNSONB@parliament.uk]
Sent: Tue 3/6/2007 10:21 AM
To: Xxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: RE: University of Surrey

Thank you: I write to acknowledge your email.

Frances Banks
Boris Johnson’s office
——————-

From: Xxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Sun 18/03/2007 11:32
To: JOHNSON, Boris
Cc: camerond@parliament.uk; miltona@parliament.uk
Subject: RE: University of Surrey

I have copied in David Cameron and Anne Milton to this email so they are aware of this exchange – not that they haven’t been aware for months but nevermind. The more awareness there is, the less the Conservative party will be able to wriggle out of it when they decided actually to do something.

The weblog is still live. It is still being updated. The person in question remains a candidate at the local elections. That’s Conservative action.

Regards,

Xxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxx

——————-

From: Xxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Sun 4/8/2007 2:00 PM
To: johnsonb@parliament.uk
Cc: camerond@parliament.uk; miltona@parliament.uk
Subject: FW: University of Surrey

You people really, really don’t care, do you?

——————-

From: Xxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Sat 4/21/2007 3:38 PM
To: johnsonb@parliament.uk
Cc: camerond@parliament.uk; miltona@parliament.uk
Subject: FW: University of Surrey

It would appear that the Tories are very quick to act when their image is at stake over storms in teacups (Boris being sent to Liverpool*, Patrick Mercer**), but while it’s a local issue silently affecting someone’s well-being, you simply aren’t bothered.

——————-

From: Xxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: 09 May 2007 14:01
To: JOHNSON, Boris
Cc: CAMERON, David; MILTON, Anne
Subject: FW: University of Surrey

Right, now that the elections are over and the Tories did oh-so-well, don’t you think that it’s time that this odious member of your party was finally brought into line? Especially since the twisted little blog no longer serves any electoral purpose that the Tory party member in question could exploit (he lost, his opponent that he was trying to discredit won, everyone is over-the-moon).

Appealing to your opportunistic sides, do you not think that a party that is preparing itself for government (and God help us all if this sorry episode represents your moral standards) should put such shocking demonstrations of your ‘nasty’ side behind you? God forbid if you should ever get into government and the press take notice of this.

Xxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxx

——————-

From: HILL, Simon [HILLSA@parliament.uk]
Sent: Thu 5/10/2007 6:19 PM
To: Xxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: CAMERON, David; JOHNSON, Boris
Subject: RE: University of Surrey

Dear Xx Xxxxxxxxxxxx,

Thank you for your email to Boris Johnson, copied to Rt Hon David Cameron MP and Anne Milton MP. I suggest that you contact the chairman of Guildford Conservative Association, Jonathan Lord, in writing as he is the individual responsible for the conduct of Guildford Conservative Association members. Mr Lord’s contact details are as follows:

Jonathan Lord
Chairman, Guildford Conservative Association
Unit 17a, Loseley Park
Guildford
Surrey
GU3 1HS

Yours sincerely,

Simon Hill

Simon Hill
Office of Anne Milton
Member of Parliament for Guildford and
Shadow Minister for Gambling, Licensing and Tourism
House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA
Tel: +44 (0)20 7219 0017
Fax: +44 (0)20 7219 5239
E-mail: hillsa@parliament.uk

——————-

(* Boris was sent to Liverpool in 2004 to apologise for his remarks about that city.)

(** Patrick Mercer was sacked from the Tory frontbench in 2007 after his remarks about race and the army.)

You can read where the correspondence went from this point in yesterday’s post. The short version is that Jonathan Lord (and his fellow Tories) did not dare address the issue during the relevant election, and tried to brush it under the carpet after that same election. I was subsequently smeared as a stalker (and, later, a paedophile) by supporters of Milton and that smear/harassment campaign continues to this day.

Even if Boris Johnson plays the classic card of implying/claiming that his staff did not pass these messages on (in spite of their use of the phrase “Boris Johnson notes your comments” and my knowledge that emails to the relevant Parliamentary address went to Johnson’s email Inbox while being copied to his staff) the fact of the matter is the correspondence ended with the matter being referred to Jonathan Lord, and Jonathan Lord took no discernable action so, while Boris Johnson may be able to reveal/prove that he did indeed raise the issue with Anne Milton or even David Cameron in some way, like Anne Milton and David Cameron, Boris Johnson is now in a position where he must at least acknowledge regret that no action was taken after the matter was referred to Jonathan Lord… especially now that audio has been published by me where Jonathan Lord confesses that made his decision to take no action (and keep the relevant activists on as candidates!!) for entirely political reasons.

So, let’s hear from Boris Johnson on this. He was made aware of a smear campaign where an innocent man was smeared as a paedophile and this man’s name, photo and whereabouts were published alongside the allegation.

Boris is an educated, media-savvy individual; he knows what the intent of such a measure is, and what the potential consequences are. He also knows that he can get away with being a bit of a buffoon and rascal at times, but showing a complete lack of care and integrity is another matter entirely.

Did he take any action? If so, what action did he take?

Did he take NO action? If so, there are many people who will regret giving him the benefit of the doubt over the Darius Guppy incident (for example).

Oh, and let’s not forget the glorious Third Way favoured by so many Tories:

Will Boris pretend that none of this has happened? If so, you can look forward to me being a wild-card campaigner in the London mayoral race, not least because his saying nothing is a strong indicator that found out about this and DID nothing, and during an election campaign is the perfect time to press the point.

(Psst! Over to you, Boris. Time to let one of your most loyal supporters on the left know if you’re a bit of a doofus or a total bastard.)








Sorry, comments are closed for this item.

  • External Channels

  • Page 3 Politics

    Page 3: a short history

  • Main

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Twitter

  • The Cautionary Campfire Songbook

    The Cautionary Campfire Songbook

  • Badges + Buttons

    religion