Why has the Norwich North Tory candidate redacted her links to Tory MP James Clappison?

by Stephen Tall on July 11, 2009

The Tories’ Norwich North candidate Chloe Smith is in no doubt about her own views on MPs’ expenses, as evidenced here in an interview on her campaign website:

People are right to be angry about the way MPs have abused their expenses – I’m angry about it too. … I know that faith in politicians is at an all-time low. So many MPs – from all the parties – have abused our trust. … we need some fresh blood in Parliament, and people with drive and energy.

All good stuff. Who among us would disagree with any of it?

And yet Chloe knows a little more about Parliament and politicians than even she’s letting on in this interview. For while she admits to having worked for Tory MPs Gillian Shepherd and Bernard Jenkin, she makes no mention of her role as a key associate of Tory MP for Hertsmere, James Clappison – though it was he who arranged a Parliamentary pass for her. Mr Clappison hit the headlines over his own expenses in May when it was revealed that, though he owns 24 houses, he claimed more than £100,000 in expenses, including thousands for gardening and redecoration.

Perhaps this is why Chloe prefers to redact any mention of her connection to him? I wonder if she’s taken the chance yet to confront Mr Clappison direct, and tell him quite how angry she is with the way he abused voters’ trust?

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No comments

So this is going to be a dirty by-election then?

by Kevin on July 11, 2009 at 12:37 pm. Reply #

If the LibDems are involved in it, then yes, presumably. My understanding is that they are the only major Party refusing to sign up to the Greens’ ‘Clean Campaign Pledge’. Correct me if I am wrong.

by Leonard G. Fletcher on July 11, 2009 at 2:08 pm. Reply #

“So this is going to be a dirty by-election then?” – Kevin

Pointing out the convenient omissions of others isn’t dirty. If her links with Conservative MPs aren’t important why does she bring it up on her website?

by Andy on July 11, 2009 at 8:12 pm. Reply #

Only the Tories have signed the Green’s campaign pledge are their friends in the Tory party.

by Simon on July 12, 2009 at 10:34 am. Reply #

Kevin – yes it looks like the Tory candidate has a poor grasp of ethics.

by Antony Hook on July 12, 2009 at 1:32 pm. Reply #

Anthony, April Moat, the ditched candidate for Broadland needs to sign up to the pledge. I am sick of our negative by election campaigns and all these bullshit emails saying one more push and we are there.

I am expecting much better now Rennard has been shitcanned.

by Martin Kinsella on July 12, 2009 at 2:12 pm. Reply #

Stephen….the website They Work For You reveals that since 2005 James Clappison has spent £40,453 of Additional Costs whereas your leader Nick Clegg has spent £ 66749 for the same period. The BBC reports Nick has spent money on garden maintenance and renovation. Next time you see Nick Clegg, maybe you’d like to tell him what you think of his claim….

by Miranda Morley on July 12, 2009 at 10:22 pm. Reply #

I think there are two points that differentiate James Clappison from Nick Clegg.

One is that James Clappison has over 20 houses he could live in, but chooses to get the taxpayer to pay for another one for him.

Secondly, James Clappison’s constituency is just 25 minutes or less by train from central London. If he did what many of his constituents do and made the short trip to Stanmore, he can get on the Jubilee line and travel direct to Westminster.

by Sara on July 13, 2009 at 8:08 am. Reply #


I think the point is that there are offenders within all parties, and you can hardly attack people in other parties when there are Lib Dems mounting a defence of “it was within the rules”.

We seem to have got to the point where some people in the party are succumbing to the temptation to use the expenses issue for party advantage. Frankly, I think they are crazy, considering that there are other people in the party praying that the whole thing will be forgotten as soon as possible.

Surely the evidence of the polls is clear anough that the more prominent this issue is, the more parties currently unrepresented in Parliament will benefit.

by Herbert Brown on July 13, 2009 at 8:18 am. Reply #

Can someone else volunteer to do the argy-bargy negative politics? Bring back the old Stephen Tall.

by Lonely Wonderer on July 13, 2009 at 9:31 am. Reply #

Does Martin Kinsella win the Lib Dem Voice award for the most self unaware post of the year?

by Dan on July 14, 2009 at 12:31 am. Reply #

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