Mark Menzies Loses the Whip

That Tory MP has been suspended by the party following bizarre claims of misuse of campaign funds, cash to pay what he called some “bad people” who were supposedly keeping him prisoner. Mark Menzies reportedly made a late-night call to an elderly local aide demanding five grand as a matter of quote “life and death” the sum which rose by another £1,500 was transferred by his office manager the next morning, before being repaid from donor funds.

The Fylde MP denies the accusation but the Conservative party is investigating and last night he resigned the whip. What that means is that he will sit in the Commons as an independent and that’s yet another cut to Rishi Sunaks majority.

Well, look his majority is not a particular problem, it’s not like it’s you know he only had a majority of three and now it’s gone down and it’s that edgy but what this is, is just an incredibly unhelpful embarrassing scandal hot on the heels of other incredibly unhelpful embarrassing scandals, at a time when Rishi Sunak is already massively on the back foot.

What I think is really interesting about this apart from the scandal itself which is completely extraordinary I mean this is a guy who 10 years ago was in similar sorts of trouble. There was a story 10 years ago, well reported, he had got into a great deal of hot water after a Brazilian male escort did a kiss and tell on him.

This is a guy with quite a complex and colourful private life. I think it’s fair to say and the Tories seem to have been quite happy to overlook some of that in the past, all the while by the way having an entire operation in their head office trying to dig dirt on candidates for other political parties. Like Angela Raynor?

The Plot: Nadine Dorries Amazon Ad

Misuse of Campaign Funds

I mean so that’s one thing but the what I think is the bigger picture here, which is fascinating to me as a political anorak is that there is this part or seems to be part of a concerted operation from inside the Conservative party to destabilize Rishi Sunak and I think it is building up to the local elections in a couple of weeks’ time, when there will be a move against Rishi Sunak.

I had not realized that this is part of a wider orchestrated campaign. But that is, what I, in what, in whose interest would that be then? In the interest of the Trussites. Exactly that, in the interest of those so-called new conservatives or whatever it is they call themselves, that think that actually. Look, in some crazy way it’s better to try to get rid of Sunak sooner than later and try to minimize the loss.

Can I ask, with this just very quickly James I was just going to say the thing is with this guy we are always told you know it seems we’re told you know what people do in their private life is up to them if it’s legal and consenting. I think this guy’s as grubby as hell frankly, I do have a view on that thank you for being blunt about that, because I completely agree with you.

I’m sorry, and also the money, you know the 5,000 quid, he was being held, yet the next day he asked for 35,000 quid because he wanted to pay some medical bills! What the hell is wrong with the man? I know and just finally hang on; I haven’t finished yet, misuse of campaign funds.

They’re not medical though are they, you know I think we all know what medical bill was and of course four years ago you mentioned, 2014 with a Brazilian rent boy who sang like a canary, but it was about four years ago when he was in trouble for getting his neighbour’s dog drunk yeah and the dog had to go to the vets because this poor thing was intoxicated.

Tories in Freefall

I think there are a couple of issues. You better make this good James, yeah well what I want to know is why the Conservative party who were told about this alleged misuse of campaign funds three months ago & did nothing until the Times then splashed it and reported it publicly?

This shows that there is a problem within the Conservative party and I agree with you about conduct that it’s not that we are looking almost into people’s private lives. I dare say everybody’s private lives got something interesting or fascinating about it somewhere, but if you are an MP there are certain rules and conduct and expectations that we have I think as the public on how you behave.

I think there are a lot of people up and down the country who haven’t gone to Brazilian escorts haven’t necessarily got their neighbours dog drunk and hasn’t necessarily misunderstood how to get funds and where to get them from?

Obviously, one must say that obviously he’s denied all the allegations against him, but three months ago people in HQ knew about this and they did nothing. That says more about the problems about the Conservative party than about this particular individual and his conduct.

There is just very quickly, there is some good news for Rishi Sunak, oh only joking, it’s terrible news. It’s another poll that’s put the Tories at a record low 19% Ipsos poll, just described it as the lowest the party has ever pulled in 45 years of surveying.

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Labour at 44%, Reform UK is only slightly behind the Conservatives at 13% so that’s encouraging for Reform. Rishi Sunaks satisfaction rating is joint worst of any Tory or Labour leader in history and in fact Labour lead on every significant part; defence, immigration, including Brexit, but it’s no surprise the Tories have become the party of sleaze.

This guy as you say three months ago, they knew about it, they did nothing. Now they’ve taken whip off him. What about Willie Wragg? What about him, he was literally putting the country at risk, a security risk by handing out people’s phone numbers to someone he doesn’t actually know.

I agree and he wasn’t, he didn’t have the whip taken off him, it’s a complete double standard. I don’t think it is sleaze though predominantly, I mean there’s lots of well this, but I think that it’s just ineptitude, I think it’s incompetent and a lack of management and as you say a party tearing itself to pieces. The hypocrisy of this, the brazen hypocrisy.

They have a whole operation raking over Reform UK’s party candidates, these are not politicians, these are just ordinary people, not elected members of the Houses of Parliament and for them to be doing that I just find unbelievable.