It has been revealed Southampton Conservatives failed to act on and covered up an incident involving racism and bullying nearly two years ago.

A source leaked to Blasting News a confidential document that provides evidence of how this Conservative association went out of its way to bury this scandal to avoid humiliation in the 2016 local elections.

They told Blasting News: "I joined the Conservative Party believing that we are the party of opportunities. I have always found the Conservative Party welcoming to everyone, regardless of your background.

"It was a shock for me to be treated like that by the leadership of the Southampton Conservative Group. I felt as if I had done something wrong by asking to become a candidate in Southampton.

"The Conservative Party needs to be strong and stamp out any form of bullying, racism and sexism. This is not the true face of the party I know."

The event took place at the Grand Cafe in Southampton on 7th December 2015. The Mayor was holding an afternoon tea to raise money for charity.

"You know the little brown boy who's standing for Swaything? That should have been mine, I wanted that."

A member of Bassett and Swaything Conservative Association called Valerie Laurent, who is now the Tory councillor for the Harefield ward in Southampton, said to witnesses: "You know the little brown boy who's standing for Swaything?

That should have been mine, I wanted that."

The witness wrote a statement saying: "I was shocked at what I heard, but didn't intervene because I had only met Val and the Mayor that afternoon. I spent several days wondering whether to report this matter to the Conservative Party headquarters, but in the end did nothing about it."

In a further attempt to get this member deselected, she said to another witness: "Well if you are friends with him, you had better ask him what he is doing.

He should not be allowed to stand in Swaything as he does not live in this area."

"Mrs Laurent was very 'blunt and aggressive'

The witness complained to Bassett and Swaything Conservative Association, saying Mrs Laurent was very "blunt and aggressive." They said the conversation with her was "generally very unpleasant."

The Chair of Bassett and Swaything Conservative Association at the time, Les Harris, wrote to Mrs Laurent on 22nd December 2015 about the Grand Cafe incident, referencing Schedule 7 of the Conservative Party's rules, which state: "The Officers of the Association may move before the Executive Council the suspension or termination of membership of the Association of any member whose declared opinions or conduct shall, in their judgement, be inconsistent with the objects or financial well-being of the Association or be likely to bring the Party into disrepute."


Harris' letter concluded Bassett and Swaything Conservative Association was considering expelling her from the party.

"She said her resignation was in no way connected to the allegation which she flatly denied."

Mrs Laurent wrote to Mr. Harris on 6th January 2016. She said she was resigning from the association because she had been selected for the Harefield ward and became a member of Southampton Itchen Conservative Association. The Tory candidate said her resignation was in no way connected to the allegation which she flatly denied.

Councillor Jeremy Molton, the Leader of Southampton Conservative Group, and a Tory councillor for Harefield, Daniel Fitzhenry, deselected one candidate for the 2016 local elections.

An email to Councillor Fitzhenry revealed that he actively bullied and harassed this candidate, who was a witness to the alleged incident.

When asked to comment on these accusations, Councillors Val Lawrent and Daniel Fitzhenry all refused to do so. Councillor Jeremy Molton was away on holiday at the time, but when Councillor David Fuller, who manages Southampton Conservative Group's media, was asked for a reply in Councillor Molton's absence. He also failed to comment.

Southampton Itchen Conservative Association was also asked to provide a statement, but ignored Blasting News' request.