Hardly a surprise to find out that this man is a ‘nasty’ piece of work as a career choice. No wonder he was chosen to be the chief whip. I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t get rewarded by Cameron, rather than being punished, as a way of sending a message to the Party’s rebellious back benchers.
From today’s Daily Telegraph – POLITICS
How I felt the full force of chief whip’s rage, by volunteer, 21
By Steven Swinford
THE Conservative Chief Whip accused of insulting a Downing Street police officer flew into a rage with a young party volunteer who was critical of an aid trip to Africa, it was claimed last night.
Lucy Kinder said she received an angry telephone call from Andrew Mitchell when, as a 21 year-old, she drafted a newspaper article about a Conservative Party trip to teach English to Rwandan teachers in August 2009.
She claimed that Mr Mitchell accused her of betraying his trust before contacting her father and saying that he “did not blame” party members for threatening his daughter with violence.
Miss Kinder, now a trainee journalist with The Telegraph, was invited on Project Umubano after doing work experience in Mr Mitchell’s private office. She was one of 100 volunteers who paid up to £2,000 each to go on the trip, led by a delegation of senior Tory MPs including Mr Mitchell, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and Nick Hurd. While not a Conservative Party member herself, she wanted to improve the lives of Rwandans and told organisers that she planned to write an article about her experience.
On arrival, Miss Kinder said the group faced an uphill struggle. She claimed that they were given just one day’s training and the Rwandan teachers did not receive an allowance from the country’s education ministry as promised to cover their food and travel. This meant that they had to walk up to 10 miles each morning to attend class. The ministry eventually gave them a lump sum, but only after the course had ended, she said. In an article submitted to The Independent newspaper, Miss Kinder wrote: “I found myself in a class of 45 who could barely speak a word of English. Progress was frustrating and the ministry of education did little to make this easier. It made a mockery of our fortnight. We have been instructing teachers who were hungry, tired and disillusioned.”
She praised the volunteers’ enthusiasm and the Conservative Party for the “impressive feat” of attracting so many to Rwanda. Mr Mitchell, however, was unimpressed. After learning of the draft article, he telephoned Miss Kinder at around midnight when she was on a coach journey to Zanzibar.
“He was furious,” she said. “He accused me of going behind his back and betraying the Conservative Party. He told me he couldn’t believe I had written such a damaging article and that he would make sure it wouldn’t be published. I tried to tell him it was a first draft and could be changed, but he wouldn’t listen.”
Mr Mitchell then allegedly called Miss Kinder’s father, with whom he had studied at Cambridge. “He said, ‘You know your daughter is writing this story? I can’t believe you would let her do that,’ said Miss Kinder. “He was really, really angry. He then sent him a text which said, ‘They are threatening her with physical violence and I can’t say I blame them.’”
Miss Kinder, now 25, said she felt intimidated and was forced to leave the group on her own when they arrived in Zanzibar for a week’s break.
A friend of Mr Mitchell said: “The volunteer was the daughter of one of his oldest friends. Yes, Andrew was angry but what he said was quite obviously figurative and he does not believe it could have been taken in any other way.”
A Conservative Party official said: “Hundreds of MPs and activists have worked on Project Umubano under Andrew Mitchell and this is the only time anyone has ever complained. There are two sides to every story, suffice to say that a lot of people felt very let down by this volunteer’s behaviour.”