New Tory bullying scandal breaks out as Conservative MP Lucy Allan 'threatens to sack staff member' for taking sick leave

Telford MP accused female member of staff of having an 'alcohol problem' after she phoned in sick 

Matt Dathan
Online political reporter
Thursday 17 December 2015 13:12 GMT
Lucy Allan MP urged Theresa May to ‘ensure this inquiry starts without delay and leaves no stone unturned’
Lucy Allan MP urged Theresa May to ‘ensure this inquiry starts without delay and leaves no stone unturned’

The Tory MP who "faked" a death threat has been accused of threatening to sack a member of staff if she took four weeks off work sick – as advised by her doctor.

In a fresh bullying scandal to hit the Conservative party, Telford MP Lucy Allan was accused of launching a "vicious" verbal attack on a female staff member who phoned in sick.

Ms Allan accused the alleged bullying victim Arianne Plumbly of having an "alcohol problem," dismissing her claims to be ill as "pathetic".

In a recording of the telephone call handed to the Evening Standard, Ms Allan is heard telling the alleged bullying target Arianne Plumbly: “I’m not paying you for that then; it’s ridiculous” and told her she had “pissed around on my life”.

It was not the first instance of aggressive behaviour from Ms Allan, according to ex staffers who told the Evening Standard that at least two complaints about her conduct had been made to Conservative HQ.

But neither of the two complaints were properly acted upon by the party, they said.

It is the latest allegation of bullying to hit the party, following the unconnected case of the young Conservative activists Elliott Johnson, who committed suicide and left a note blaming his death on Mark Clarke, the former head of the party’s youth campaign who has since been expelled by the Tories and banned for life.

In a written response to the Evening Standard Ms Allan said: “Arianne Plumbly was dismissed from her employment with Lucy Allan, MP in Telford, after four months’ employment, for gross misconduct following misuse of the Parliamentary email system, persistent unauthorised absenteeism, refusal to follow a reasonable instruction and rudeness to residents.”

Earlier this month Ms Allan admitted adding a “death threat” to a Facebook post designed to expose the "unacceptable" abuse she received after voting in favour of air strikes in Syria.

She posted an email she had received from a disgruntled constituent complaining about her decision but added the words “unless you die” at the bottom of the post.

She defended it by saying her addition had been a threat sent in by another constituent on the same day and justified her decision to post it because it showed examples of the abuse that MPs receive “most days and that most people tolerate silently”.

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