Further to Pauline Latham’s comment in the House of Commons yesterday, there is more to Chris Williamson’s election ‘smear’ campaign against Amanda Solloway.
On June 6 ( 2 days prior to the election) Williamson posted a video on his Facebook page ( filmed by one of his team, and researcher, Lewis Bassett).
In the introduction Williamson claimed that he had been
“approached by Craig Johnson who had heard that I was running an advice and advocacy centre in Derby”.
Mr Johnson is one of many people who lost a lot of money following the collapse of Compass Debt Counsellors (CDC). CDC was run by 3 directors, one of the which was Robert Solloway, the husband of the, then, Derby North MP Amanda Solloway. Details were reported in my article of May 2016;
This issue about CDC had also been reported in the Daily Mail and the Derby Telegraph. To share information, those affected, created a Closed Facebook Group in March 2016.
In April 2017, 2 of Williamson’s researchers, Sayed Umaar Kazmi, and Lewis Bassett joined the group. Whilst Kazmi was silent, Bassett started asking a lot of questions, trying to understand the status, promising to get lawyers involved, claiming that he could get a Daily Mirror article written, as well as a Labour Party candidate who could help if he got elected. His posting was becoming so intense that one of the members felt the need to post, accusing Bassett of “phishing”:
The notion that Craig Johnson, spontaneously, and unprompted, picked up the phone and called Williamson is a little presumptuous. The day before the above posting Bassett was in dialogue with Craig Johnson.
It is noteworthy that all comments by Lewis Bassett have been deleted from this group, apart from those more recent posts relating to letters written/actions by Williamson
It is fair to say that Chris Williamson has followed up on this issue, post election, with a meeting with members of the group and a letter to the Financial Conduct Authority and it is giving hope to those that have lost out. Time will tell as to how far this goes.
None of those affected have identified themselves in the group as constituents of Derby North, despite what Williamson has said. Under normal circumstances an MP would only help people who reside within their constituency.
The sudden interest just prior to the election, coupled with a video that tried to portray Williamson as “the man to call” was just blatant electioneering and was done simply to “smear” his opponent. If his interest had been genuine, he could easily have been involved a year before in his role as ex- MP, and advocate.
The fact that Lewis Bassett has deleted many of his comments that show the tactics that were employed, to stir up this issue, and get Williamson involved by June 8th, implies some level of guilty conscience.
Categories: Derby News Comment