CONTROVERSIAL Conservative deputy chair Lee Anderson seems to have decided to go for a daily scandal since being appointed to a senior position in the party by Rishi Sunak in a desperate bid to shore up his position on the moon-howling wing of the Tory Party, which these days seems to be most of it.

The other day, it was Anderson opining that he favours the reintroduction of the death penalty because no-one reoffends when they are dead. Although it does seem that you can still be appointed deputy chair of the Conservative Party when you are brain dead.

Lee's scandal du jour is the – let's be honest – unsurprising revelation that he's pally with some unsavoury far-right extremists. Until it was hastily removed, Anderson's Facebook page displayed a photo of the MP with a known white supremacist Martin Dudley, who is so close to Anderson that the MP calls Dudley by his nickname “Fluke”.

That integrity, accountability and professionalism that Sunak promised to restore to government is looking pretty threadbare.

However, it is alarming indeed that the Conservatives now seek to appeal to groups and individuals whose views were until recently considered beyond the bounds of acceptability in a modern multicultural democracy.


THE Conservatives' electoral woes continue. Labour have easily retained the West Lancashire constituency in a by-election called after its MP, Rosie Cooper, resigned last autumn. Labour won with a 10% swing from the Tories. On a very low turnout of just 31.36%, Labour took 62.3% of votes cast, up from 52.1%, while the Conservative vote plummeted from 36.3% to 25.4%.

This result is the first time that the Tory vote in the constituency has dipped below 30% since the 1997 general election, which Tony Blair's Labour Party won by a landslide. It looks like there are just not enough far-right extremist zoomers in England to save Sunak's disgrace of a party, and for that small mercy we should all be grateful.


MEANWHILE, Sunak continues to have problems with his beleaguered deputy prime minister Dominic Raab. Raab is currently being investigated for allegations of bullying.

Dozens of civil servants have criticised Raab's behaviour as a minister and eight formal complaints about him have been made by staff members in three different government departments. The lawyer Adam Tolley has been appointed to investigate the complaints of bullying, but it is thought that his report will not be delivered for some weeks yet.

If Tolley finds that Raab breached the ministerial code, he will be the third high-profile minister forced out of office in Sunak's short time in office, following Gavin Williamson and Nadhim Zahawi.  In an interview with the Telegraph, Raab denied any wrongdoing and insisted that he merely wanted to set high standards in office. That latter claim might be more credible if not for Raab's serial incompetence.

This was the Foreign Secretary who remained on holiday in Crete when Kabul fell to the Taliban and hundreds of Afghans who had assisted British forces in the country were abandoned to their fate.  Raab then denied that he had been paddleboarding as the Taliban entered Kabul, claiming that “the sea was shut” – a claim denied by local Greek authorities.


IN another, smaller, instance of the entitlement and bad behaviour which pervades the Conservative Party from top to bottom, a Scottish Tory activist campaigning in a crucial council by-election in Stirling was filmed apparently removing opponents’ leaflets from a private close.

Currently, both the SNP and the Tories have seven seats on Stirling Council, meaning the winner of the by-election will make their party the largest group on the council.

The campaign material from the SNP, the Greens and an independent was later found in the bins outside the building. CCTV footage appears to show the woman, accompanied by a large black dog, enter the close and scoop up the leaflets and pocket them before exiting the building.

Locals allege that the Tory activist is Linn Kleinman, the wife of Robin Kleinman, the Conservative candidate in the by-election.  The local Conservatives were approached by The National for comment, but did not respond.


THERE are rumblings that yet another major Conservative sleaze scandal is about to break, creating even more difficulties for what little remains of Sunak's tattered credibility.

The Labour Party press office Twitter account has rebranded itself to The GPC Files and changed its logo to one seemingly based on the Conservative English oak tree logo – only the tree has lost all its leaves and appears to have died.

The account links to a website,, which carries a countdown set to expire on Monday morning. Whatever it is about exactly, people in Conservative Party headquarters look set to have a very uncomfortable weekend.

GPC would appear to stand not for Gross Putrid Conservatives – although that works too – but for Government Procurement Cards. These are charge cards, similar to consumer credit cards (the main difference being that the outstanding balance on a procurement card must be paid off at the end of each month). GPCs are government's "recommended method of purchasing and paying for goods or services under £20,000".

In recent weeks, Labour's shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry has submitted numerous questions to various government departments about their use of GPCs. The rebranding of the Labour Party press office Twitter account would suggest that she has found something very damaging to the Government.

In a Twitter thread speculating whether gpcfiles refers to possible misuse of the cards, Thornberry replied: "Just wait. It will be worth it..."

Pass the popcorn.

This piece is an extract from today’s REAL Scottish Politics newsletter, which is emailed out at 7pm every weekday with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from the Wee Ginger Dug.

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