Three Tory activists barred from conference after claims member who killed himself was bullied

One of the three men has been suspended from the party entirely

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Indy Politics

Three Conservative activists have had their party conference accreditation rescinded pending an investigation into allegations that another activist, believed to have taken his own life, was the target of bullying.

Elliot Johnson, 21, named party members and campaigners in a note before he was found dead on railway tracks near a station in Bedfordshire on 15 September, the Guardian newspaper reported.

A coroners’ inquest reported by the newspaper heard that there are “certain allegations with regard to the possibility of bullying before Mr Johnson died”.

The Independent has learned that an internal party inquiry into the claims is running parallel to a British Transport Police investigation and the coroners’ inquest.

The three men have been barred from conference, and one has been suspended from the party entirely, a Conservative spokesperson said.

Mr Johnson, a graduate of the University of Nottingham, worked for campaign group Conservative Way Forward and was a member of the Tories’ youth organisation Conservative Future.

The party says it has been acting on claims made by Mr Johnson and other party members since August, before his death.

A Conservative party spokesperson said: “Everyone in the Conservative Party is deeply saddened at the death of Elliott Johnson. The circumstances surrounding his death are in the hands of the Coroner and it is not appropriate to comment on those at this time.

“The Party’s own, separate, disciplinary inquiry is in relation to complaints received from Mr Johnson and others against a member of the Party.

“This initial disciplinary inquiry was launched as soon as a complaint was received in August 2015.  An individual has had their membership suspended, pending the outcome of a full disciplinary panel.

“Three individuals have had their Conference accreditation rescinded.”