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Grant Shapps resigns: International development minister steps down amid Tory bullying scandal

Published 28/11/2015

Grant Shapps has come under fire from the father of a Tory activist who killed himself
Grant Shapps has come under fire from the father of a Tory activist who killed himself

Grant Shapps, the Minister of State at the Department for International Development, has resigned after claims emerged he failed to act over allegations of bullying by a Tory campaigner when he was party chairman.

David Cameron earlier refused to offer his full support to Mr Shapps in the wake of the bullying allegations. He told reporters a statement would be made on the former party chairman today.

The father of Elliott Johnson, the Tory activist who is believed to have killed himself, said his son would still be alive if the party had acted on complains about Mark Clarke's behaviour.

He and the Conservative MP Ben Howlett claim successive party chairs, including Grant Shapps and the incumbent Lord Feldman, have been aware of Mr Clarke's reputation for years.

A letter emerged, written by former party chairman Sayeeda Warsi and sent to Mr Shapps, demanding action be taken against Mr Clarke. She said she never recieved a "satisfactory response".

The letter appeared to contradict the Tory party's claim it was unable to find records of uninvestigated complains against him.

The Department for International Development has been approached for comment.

Mr Shapps courted controversy during his time as Tory party chairman.

Mr Shapps was also forced to admit he had "screwed up" over his denial that he held a second job posing as a multi-millionaire under the pseudonym Michael Green while also an MP in 2006.

On the day of the 2014 Budget he sparked a backlash after he attempted to celebrate cuts in tax on beer and bingo to help "hardworking people do more of the things they enjoy".

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