The father of Elliott Johnson, the Conservative activist believed to have killed himself in September, has said a police report into his son’s death is being used to deflect attention from the bullying he suffered at the hands of Conservative party members.
Ray Johnson said he has been left with no choice but to release further extracts from a note left by his son on the day of his death to disprove reports that he and his wife Alison had “rowed” with Elliott about his sexuality.
Elliott, 21, was found dead on railway tracks after leaving a letter in which he alleged Tory election aide Mark Clarke and others had bullied him. Clarke has previously denied the allegations.
“Elliott’s sexuality had nothing to do the fact that Elliott was being bullied and harassed by people like Clarke,” Johnson said.
Lawyers for Elliott’s parents will argue at a hearing in Ampthill, Bedfordshire, on Wednesday, that the inquest into their son’s death should be broadened to examine the claims of bullying and harassment.
A file, prepared by British Transport police and submitted to a coroner ahead of Wednesday’s hearing, which made reference to Elliott’s sexuality and previous history of depression, was obtained by the Daily Mail on Friday. It also detailed three incidents five to six years ago when it was feared Elliott had attempted to take his own life. There is no suggestion that the report was leaked by the police.
Johnson told the Guardian: “I’m certain that it’s been put out to try to deflect attention from last September to say ‘Here’s a young man who was likely to commit suicide because of his past history’. The past history was five or six years prior. Since those instances, he’d gone on to university and there were no further instances, no further issues with regards to mental health. He had matured. He was a young man. He’d moved on. He was looking forward to his life as a political journalist. I think what happened in September was completely unrelated to what happened five or six years earlier.”
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