Minister Backs Tory Candidate Who Said Party Is 'A Shower Of Shit'

Minister Michael Tomlinson did not condemn a Tory candidate's criticism of the Conservative Party
Minister Michael Tomlinson did not condemn a Tory candidate's criticism of the Conservative Party Times Radio

A government minister has said he shares the “anger” of a Tory candidate who described the Conservatives as a “shower of shit”.

A former Olympian rower who is standing for the party in Colchester, James Cracknell, slammed the Tories in a campaign video on Facebook this week.

He said: “Two weeks out from the Olympics, if we were competing against the Conservative Party, my teammates and I would be saying, ‘they are a shower of shit’.”

Referencing the alleged bets some senior Tories made on the date of the election, he added: “If anyone of my teammates got caught cheating, they’d be dead to me. That abuse of trust is unforgivable.”

But Cracknell still told voters: “I believe the Conservative way is the best way for the country”.

The Conservatives have since withdrawn their support for the two candidates accused of betting on the election date.

Pressed about these comments on Times Radio on Tuesday, the minister for illegal migration Michael Tomlinson said: “I share the anger, I share the frustration.”

He added: “The lawyer in me says that there’s a process and a procedure that should be gone through.

“My view is that should be swift and anyone who is found to have fallen short of the high standards that we expect, anyone that’s found to have broken the law should be dealt with swiftly and severely.”

Times Radio host Stig Abell pushed: “What do you make of a Conservative candidate in an election campaign saying the Conservative Party are a ‘shower of shit’?”

“Literally, expressing the frustration,” the minister said. “I think you can hear the frustration in my own voice.”

But he said there is both the Gambling Commission’s process and an internal process to go through first.

PM Rishi Sunakignored pleas for those accused of betting on the election date to be suspended from the party until Tuesday this week.

Abell then suggested that the “shower remark” is not just about the alleged betting – and it’s not a one-off incident.

He pointed out that Tory James Sunderland, who is running for re-election in Bracknell, said the Rwanda policy was “crap”.

Abell said: “If Tories are searching for faecal metaphors to describe the current status of your party, what does that say about your electability?”

The minister said it was “colourful” language, but noted that in “full context” Sunderland suggested it would still act as a deterrent.

Tomlinson said: “We have a plan, there is a deterrent effect which is up and running – but not yet fully running, because the flights have not taken off.”

The Rwanda plan was first announced to the public in April 2022.

More than two years later, not a single migrant has been forcibly deported via the scheme.