Former MP ‘felt threatened’ by top Tory adviser in phone calls: Charlotte Leslie contacted police claiming senior party activist asked if she could ‘walk the dog at night and sleep well’
A former Conservative MP contacted police claiming that she had been ‘threatened’ by a senior party activist in phone calls.
Charlotte Leslie said she had a ‘sinister’ phone conversation in which she was told to consider whether she could ‘walk the dog at night and sleep well’.
The remark was made by government adviser and Tory donor Carl Hunter following a clash between Miss Leslie and telecoms tycoon Mohamed Amersi, who has given more than £500,000 to the 保守派.
The astonishing comments are revealed today in recordings obtained by the Daily Mail.
There is no suggestion that Mr Amersi was aware of the nature of Mr Hunter’s conversations with Miss Leslie or instructed him to speak in the way he did.
Charlotte Leslie (图为) contacted police claiming she had a ‘sinister’ phone call with Tory donor Carl Hunter in which she was told to consider whether she could ‘sleep well’
They came after Miss Leslie, 43, and Mr Amersi, 61, fell out in a power struggle over UK-Middle East relations.
阿默西先生, who has also given £1.2million to Prince Charles’s charities, was furious to learn a secret dossier compiled by her about him was sent to Tory co-chairman Ben Elliot.
He said claims about him were ‘defamatory and inaccurate’ – and is suing Miss Leslie for allegedly breaking data protection laws.
Conservative moves to defuse the rift led to a series of phone calls between Mr Hunter, acting as a ‘mediator’, and Miss Leslie.
The disclosure of Mr Hunter’s comments is deeply embarrassing for the Tories and places an awkward spotlight on the party hierarchy’s treatment of senior women members. The row is expected to feature in a Commons debate tomorrow.
Miss Leslie, MP for Bristol North West from 2010 直到 2017, is director of the Conservative Middle East Council which promotes UK-Middle East links.
She said Mr Amersi attempted to take over her group, which came with an offer of £500,000-a-year funding, but when she rejected his approach he proposed setting up the separate Conservative Friends of the Middle East.
Tory donor Carl Hunter (图为) made the remark following a clash between Miss Leslie and telecoms tycoon Mohamed Amersi, who has given more than £500,000 to the Conservatives
Miss Leslie and Mr Amersi (图为) fell out over UK-Middle East relations. There is no suggestion Mr Amersi was aware of the nature of Mr Hunter’s conversations with Miss Leslie
It led to Conservative activist and ex-Army captain Mr Hunter talking to Miss Leslie. In phone calls, 他告诉她: ‘You need to consider your position – being able to walk the dog at night, being able to sleep well at night.’
He insisted she was ‘alone’ and faced ‘a world of pain’ unless she backed down. He also warned she was ‘in the eye of the storm… it’s you they seem to be after’ and claimed: ‘It’s like a volcano.’
Mr Hunter added it would ‘monopolise your life for as long as it lasts… it just weighs on your mind so much… I don’t want to see you photographed in some tabloid standing on the steps of somewhere.’
Amersi denies Kremlin ‘connections’
Mohamed Amersi last night attacked a Labour MP’s claim that he was linked to a Russian involved with Vladimir Putin’s security services.
Former Cabinet minister Liam Byrne told a Commons debate yesterday that Leonid Bogdan was the ‘most concerning’ of a number of Russians that Mr Amersi was ‘connected to’.
He claimed Mr Bogdan had ‘interesting friends’ in the FSB, which replaced the Soviet Union’s KGB security service.
Mr Bogdan was a ‘minor partner’ in a Russian bank ‘associated with… supplying arms to Syria and Iran’, claimed Mr Byrne under parliamentary privilege. Mr Amersi denied any wrongdoing and told the Daily Mail: ‘This is utter bulls*** and drivel.’
Mr Byrne said Mr Amersi had worked with Russians ‘connected’ to the Kremlin on the takeover of Georgian telecoms firm MegaFon, later accused of ‘illegal operations’.
He also claimed that ‘despite those connections… Mr Amersi was asked to chair Comena’ – the Conservative Friends of the Middle East and North Africa.
Mr Amersi added: ‘My last trip to Russia was when I left the MegaFon board.’
He suggested she would face bankruptcy if she did not apologise. There were four phone calls to Miss Leslie’s London home in February last year.
Police confirmed that Miss Leslie contacted them that month.
She told officers she ‘became frightened as [Mr Hunter’s] words sank in and she felt ‘threatened’.
A police spokesman told the Mail: ‘We received reports of malicious communications and harassment. No arrests have been made and inquiries are ongoing.’
Mr Hunter last night denied threatening Miss Leslie.
Asked if he said she needed to consider if she would be ‘able to walk the dog at night,’ 他说: ‘I do not recollect using that sort of language. I was trying to help Charlotte.’
Told that Mr Hunter was accused of using threatening language, Mr Amersi said: ‘That is absolutely terrible. It didn’t come from me. I would absolutely condemn that if that is what he said.
‘I never used any language of the type described in any interaction with Mr Hunter and therefore never requested that this be deployed on my behalf in any of his interactions with Miss Leslie.’
After the phone calls from Mr Hunter, a second attempt to broker a peace deal was launched by Lord Hunt of the Wirral with the official approval of Tory co-chairman Mr Elliot – but it also failed.
There is no suggestion Lord Hunt made any threats against Miss Leslie.
Miss Leslie claims Mr Amersi wanted to take over her group to ‘enhance’ his hopes of getting a gong.
Mr Amersi strongly denies the allegation – and claims she complained that the Tories had failed to give her an honour when she lost her Commons seat.
Miss Leslie’s dossier was also sent to a handful of politicians, ambassadors and individuals linked to MI5 and MI6.
When Mr Amersi, a UK citizen, learned of its existence in January last year, he demanded an apology.
Miss Leslie told Mr Hunter in one of the calls: ‘There is only so far I will bend over to apologise because someone has a lot of money and is upset.’
两天后, she did agree to express ‘deep regret at any offence’ caused and disowned the dossier, but Mr Amersi rejected the offer.