Thursday 29 September 2016

'The buck should stop with me' - British minister Grant Shapps resigns after Conservative party activist kills himself

Sam Lister, Press Association Political Correspondent, in Malta, and James Tapsfield

Published 28/11/2015 | 13:42

Grant Shapps, who has resigned amid allegations he failed to deal with allegations of bullying within the Conservative Party. Dave Thompson/PA Wire
Grant Shapps, who has resigned amid allegations he failed to deal with allegations of bullying within the Conservative Party. Dave Thompson/PA Wire

British Government minister Grant Shapps has resigned amid allegations he failed to act on claims of bullying in Tory youth wing, Downing Street have confirmed.

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Mr Shapps told the British Prime Minister David Cameron in his resignation letter that the "buck should stop with me" over issues while he was Conservative Party chairman.

The move comes as Cameron has said he feels "deeply" for the parents of a Tory party activist who killed himself amid allegations of bullying within the party.

Elliott Johnson's parents have said they believe the 21-year-old would still be alive if Mr Shapps had behaved "responsibly".

Mr Cameron said: "It is a tragic loss of a talented young life. It is not something that any parent should have to go through and I feel for them deeply."

"I feel deeply for his parents."

British Prime Minister David Cameron
British Prime Minister David Cameron

Elliott's father Ray had called for Mr Shapps and party chairman Lord Feldman to resign over allegations they failed to act on claims of bullying within the party's youth wing.

The party has said it was not aware of any complaints against Mark Clarke, who ran the party's "Road Trip" operation during the general election campaign, until August.

He has since been expelled over bullying and blackmail allegations, but denies any wrongdoing.

Mr Cameron, who is in Malta for a Commonwealth summit, said: "I feel deeply for his parents. It is an appalling loss to suffer.

"In terms of what the Conservative Party should do, there needs to be and there is a proper inquiry to ask all the questions and interview all the people who have come forward.

"That will take place."

The Prime Minister said an independent lawyer would oversee the process.

Press Association

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