The Times (and others) deals with Mr. Miraj’s conduct here:

http://tinyurl.com/27fa9r.

The facts may now be summarized as follows:

  1. Mr. Miraj was a candidate for the Conservative party in 2001 and 2005. In 2001 he performed adequately at Aberavon. In 2005 he stood at Watford which was and is a seat which Conservatives must expect to win if they are to form a Government. Here his singular achievement was to see the Conservative share of the vote actually decline and the LibDems share increase so much that the Conservatives were pushed, humiliatingly, into third place;
  2. Notwithstanding this, he was allowed to remain on the candidates list and in due course put himself forward for selection as the candidate for Witham. In due course he made a grave, but otherwise wholly unsupported, allegation that Bernard Jenkin, in the presence of two other Tory MPs, told him that he would be surprised if this seat selected anything other than a white middle class male. Neither Mr Jenkin nor anyone else apart from Mr. Miraj had any recollection of making such a comment and in the event Witham selected a lady of Asian origin, Priti Patel as its candidate;
  3. Sometime before Thursday of last week Mr. Miraj prepared an article highly critical of Mr. Cameron which, rather than offer for publication, he showed to members of ‘Team Cameron’. As a result he was called for a meeting with Mr. Cameron on Monday. At this meeting he several times asked Mr. Cameron to give him a Peerage;
  4. Mr. Cameron, quite properly, given the circumstances, refused, not least because such things are not in his gift;
  5. Having been refused Mr. Miraj then offered his ‘article’ for publication and it was published;
  6. The fact of his criticisms of Mr. Cameron becomes an important news item, particularly in those corners of the media which are deeply hostile to the Conservative party;
  7. Mr. Miraj has been suspended from the candidates list;
  8. Mr Miraj also made clear his disappointment that Sayeeda Warsi, a fellow British Muslim, had been promoted to the Shadow Cabinet and given a peerage.

What, then, are the proper and reasonable inferences to be drawn from these facts?

  1. Mr. Miraj prepared his article with the deliberate intention of getting a face to face meeting with Mr. Cameron: otherwise, why show it first to team Cameron?;
  2. Having got his meeting, it is clear that a central feature of that meeting, called in response to his threat to publish an article highly critical of Mr. Cameron personally, was Mr. Miraj’s desire to be made a peer at Mr. Cameron’s instance;
  3. There was, therefore, a clear link in Mr. Miraj’s mind between the article and the request for a peerage;
  4. This was, it is reasonable to conclude, an unsubtle attempt to blackmail Mr. Cameron into recommending him for a peerage or face publication of the article.
  5. Mr. Miraj knew or believed that his article would cause damage to the party’s leader and to the party;
  6. The real motivation behind all this is Mr. Miraj’s own careerist ambitions and his bitterness that another Muslim, Sayeeda Warsi, was preferred to him for advancement to the House of Lords.

What are we to make of these matters?

Mr. Miraj comes out very badly from any rational analysis of this story. We have a picture of an individual who has become frustrated at the extraordinary failure of Selection Committees to recognize his vast talent and superior qualities as a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate who has come to the conclusion that he is, to his own astonishment, unlikely to be selected for a safe conservative seat. Thereupon he engages in what can only be described as a grubby piece of attempted blackmail of his party leader which was rightly rebuffed. Having been rejected he then published the article which has potentially damaged both the leader and the party. Not very attractive, is it?

What should now be done?

Mr. Cameron must, given this individual’s conduct, move not just to make his suspension from the candidate’s list permanent but also to have him expelled from the party after giving him an appropriate opportunity to explain his conduct and make a case for his continued membership. This should be done this week so that the party can move on to the much more important business of preparing for the next general election, which the Times and others warn us today, may come as soon as October.

If expelling him drives him to the Labour Party, so be it. One doubts very much that they will want to pick up this particular snake-in-the-grass given the climate that exists concerning people who are alleged to link the awarding of peerages to the doing or not doing of some act: in other words. Post- “cash for peerages”, they won’t want to touch him with a bargepole.

Mr. Miraj’s political career is, therefore, at an end.

Let us move on.

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