Jackie Walker of Momentum Thanet has written to Craig Mackinlay, MP for South Thanet, asking him to answer three questions which, she says, are of urgent concern to his constituents.
The questions relate to Mr Mackinlay’s decision to hire Sam Armstrong as his chief of staff. Mr Armstrong was arrested on suspicion of raping a woman in Mr Mackinlay’s Westminster office in October and is currently on bail until January.
In her letter Ms Walker asks:
– Why Mr Mackinlay employed Sam Armstrong as his chief of staff six months after he was banned from the 2015 Conservative Party conference?
– Whether when he hired him he was aware of Sam Armstrong’s close association with Mark Clarke, who following an internal inquiry into alleged bullying and harassment in the Conservative Party was banned for life from the party?
– If he asked Sam Armstrong to investigate the social media of a number of his constituents, including Ms Walker, with a view to attacking them publicly?
Ms Walker said: “Mr Mackinlay has behaved outrageously in publicly attacking a number of his constituents, including myself, without contacting them first, and we need him to explain why he did this. He actually wrote to Jeremy Corbyn asking him to ban four of us from his rally in Ramsgate and then tweeted this to his followers. This was incredibly upsetting for all of us.”
She added: “We also need to know why he employed Sam Armstrong as his chief of staff knowing full well Armstrong’s background and record in the Conservative Party. Unless he does come up with satisfactory answers to these questions, both Mr Mackinlay’s integrity and judgement as our MP must be in serious question and he will find it increasingly difficult to operate as an effective constituency MP.”
THE LETTER JACKIE SENT TO CRAIG MACKINLAY
Dear Craig Mackinlay,
URGENT QUESTIONS TO ANSWER
In October your chief of staff Sam Armstrong was arrested by police on suspicion of raping a woman in your Westminster office. He’s now on bail pending police enquiries and of course it’s not possible talk about his case at this time.
But I want to ask you three questions about your employment of this man which are of urgent concern to your constituents, of which I am one.
Why did you employ Sam Armstrong as your chief of staff approximately six months after he was banned from the 2015 Conservative Party conference?
Were you aware, when you hired him, of Sam Armstrong’s close association with Mark Clarke who, following an internal inquiry into alleged bullying and harassment in the Conservative Party, was banned for life from the party.
Did you ask Sam Armstrong to investigate the social media of a number of your constituents, including myself, with a view to attacking them publicly – or was this his own initiative?
I feel you must answer these questions with the utmost urgency to reassure us, your constituents, of your judgement and integrity as our MP.
Organiser, Momentum Thanet