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?