Not often appropriate to praise David Cameron here, but he did the right thing yesterday.
He may have done it later than other people would have liked and hung his feet rather about accepting the inevitable. Not only has Grant Schapps resigned his ministerial post for the conduct of his staff in a previous role, but an independent lawyer is going to lead an inquiry.
Schapps said in his resignation speech said that although he did not feel he was directly responsible, that responsibility should lie somewhere.
“Although neither the party nor I can find any record of written allegations of bullying, sexual abuse or blackmail made to the chairman’s office prior to the election, I cannot help but feel that the steady stream of those who raised smaller, more nuanced objections should have perhaps set alarm bells ringing sooner.
“In the end, I signed that letter appointing Mark Clarke director of RoadTrip and I firmly believe that whatever the rights and wrongs of a serious case like this, responsibility should rest somewhere. Over the past few weeks as individual allegations have come to light, I have come to the conclusion that the buck should stop with me.”
I would like to think that Shapps has learned from looking at how other parties have handled allegations over misuse of power. The continued debate over the role of Lord Rennard within the Liberal Democrats would be an example. The behaviour of the ‘nasty’ party and the ‘nice’ party stands in rather sharp contrast.