Tory MP Lucy Allan in fresh row over leaked voicemail recordings
An MP at the centre of a row over claims she faked a death threat has hit the headlines again after the leak of a series of voicemail recordings in which she admonished a staff member who was absent from work due to sickness.
In the messages obtained by the Evening Standard, Telford MP Lucy Allan accused the female staffer, Arianne Plumbly, of having "pissed around on my life" and appeared to question whether her illness is genuine.
She described her absence as "pathetic" and said "we all know you're not ill". When the staff member was signed off sick for a number of weeks, Ms Allan left a message telling her: "If you sign yourself off sick for four months the only option will be to dismiss you."
Ms Plumbly told the Standard that Ms Allan's office was "a nasty environment" to work in, but claimed that when she raised her concerns with the Conservative Party "there was no sympathy or anything. I don't think they dealt with it at all. I'm really disappointed."
But a Conservative Party spokesman said: "As soon as these complaints were made they were dealt with appropriately and sympathetically."
The party last year issued a new code of conduct for MPs and their staff, and it operates a free confidential helpline for staff with workplace concerns.
Ms Allan made no immediate response to a request for comment.
In a written response to the Standard, the MP said: "Arianne Plumbly was dismissed from her employment with Lucy Allan, MP in Telford, after four months' employment, for gross misconduct following misuse of the Parliamentary email system, persistent unauthorised absenteeism, refusal to follow a reasonable instruction and rudeness to residents."
Ms Allan last week used a Facebook post - subsequently deleted - to complain of being "hounded ... with smears, fear, lies, threats, slurs and abuse" from political opponents since putting herself forward as Conservative candidate in Telford.
Her staff, in their "dream job", had been "hounded, harassed, abused and bullied", she claimed.
Ms Allan has faced a backlash since admitting doctoring an email message from the son of a local councillor, who had urged her under a false name to oppose the bombing of Syria.
She initially suggested the message had included threatening language, but later said the words "unless you die" had in fact come from a separate message sent on the same day.
However, she said it was a "disgusting slur" to suggest she had faked a death threat.