Police are examining claims that a Conservative activist was subjected to a blackmail plot just days before he was due to give the party evidence against a former parliamentary hopeful suspected of sexual harassment.
A police force confirmed that it was contacted by a 19-year-old man who said he faced demands for money to stop sexually explicit images from being released on the internet. Officers have not been able to identify the alleged blackmailer, they said.
Friends of the man, who is a Tory activist, claim that the blackmail attempt from a Skype account arrived when he was due to give evidence of harassment against women by Mark Clarke, who has since been accused of bullying several male colleagues and sexually assaulting a number of female activists.
Clarke was expelled from the Conservative party for life earlier this week after it was claimed that his behaviour was a factor in another young activist believed to have killed himself.
Clarke has vigorously denied any wrongdoing and claims that he was also targeted by the same fake account.
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