Thursday 17 December 2015

Conservative MP for Telford who doctored constituent's email accused of bullying members of staff

Conservative MP for Telford, Lucy Allan, has been accused of bullying members of staff and recordings of phone calls left on an answerphone and given to the Evening Standard would seem to back that up.

Allan hit the news earlier this month after adding an abusive comment to the end of an email she had received from a constituent and posting it on her Facebook page. She initially denied inventing the comment before backtracking and claiming the abusive comment was from another email and she was adding abusive comments she was getting to the post. The post only contained the entire email from a constituent with the words "Unless you die" - apparently sent by someone else - added to the end, the post hadn't been edited and nothing was subsequently added to it but that's her story and she's sticking to it.

A few days after #Rustygate (as local residents started calling it after the pseudonym of the constituent who wrote the original email) Lucy Allan claimed that the police were investigating what was now being described as a "death threat" and her office started informally briefing influential locals they thought would be sympathetic to her cause that a Labour borough councillor was involved. "Rusty" went to the press revealing his true identity as the son of a Labour councillor rather than the councillor himself.

Things were starting to die down but Allan couldn't resist scratching that itch and decided to post what many believed to be a late night drunken Facebook post naming Labour borough councillors (ill-advisedly starting with Cllr Shaun Davies, cabinet member for anything in the papers and a practising solicitor) as the people behind a campaign of harassment, abuse and bullying of her, a "happy, friendly female" and her staff.

The post was deleted, along with her social media accounts but Allan still couldn't keep herself out of trouble. She is now accused of bullying and threatening a member of her staff, accusing her of stealing a computer and being an alcoholic and telling her that if she takes time off sick on advice of her doctor then should would be sacked. Allan has been through a few members of staff and some of them - her former campaign manager included - have come forward to corroborate the accusations made by Arianne Plumbly, telling the Evening Standard that Allan is a bully and that at least two complaints about her conduct have been made to the Conservative Party.

In recordings of phone calls given to the Evening Standard, Allan can be heard swearing at Plumbly when she found out that she was off work sick and threatening to fire her if she didn't come into work. She also tells her that she has no rights and can't go to an employment tribunal. Allan owns an employment law consultancy which makes her bullying even more unacceptable.

Only last month the International Development Minister, Grant Shapps, resigned from his post after a young Conservative Party activist took his own life due to bullying and sexual assault from within the party.