Two MPs, a private eye, a brief, a fraudster and a blog

David Cornock
Parliamentary correspondent, Wales


Well that was slightly less cryptic. Aberconwy MP Guto Bebb used a short House of Commons debate last night to link his fellow Tory David Jones with a blog he said had "harassed, abused and bullied" people in North Wales.

It appears to be episode two in a a remarkable public feud between the two men, one that now features police, a private eye and a convicted fraudster in its extended cast of characters.

Last week Mr Bebb suggested a Conservative "close to home" was to stand down at the next election. He didn't name the MP in question but it was widely believed that he had David Jones - who denied any retirement plans - in mind.

Last night, he did mention Mr Jones in passing as he claimed the former Welsh secretary's business partner, Dylan Moore, was behind the blog. He also named Llandudno newsagent Nigel Roberts as another contributor.

Mr Bebb said: "The site is called Thoughts of Oscar, and it is probably best described as a small-town poison pen letter blog, with an added interest in politics—mostly local politics, but it has a rather remarkable interest in Welsh Conservatives, wherever they may be located in Wales.

"Over the years the site has harassed, abused, libelled and generally targeted a series of individuals, businesses, council officials and local councillors. All that, as would be expected, has been done behind the cloak of anonymity, while claiming the moral high ground of being the purveyor of free speech."

Mr Bebb said the two names were uncovered by a private investigator, appointed by a member of two members of the public. He did not name a third person as he said it was less certain that person was involved.

"I did, however, highlight these issues with the whips' office some two years ago since Mr Dylan Moore is the business partner of Mr Jones."

Mr Bebb said a constituent Michael Creamer, who was jailed for four years for mortgage fraud, also presented him with evidence that indicated North Wales police were well aware of the names of the people behind the blog.

Mr Bebb's allegations are covered by parliamentary privilege, which gives MPs protection from legal action. Comments on this page don't enjoy the same protection so I hope you'll understand why I will disable them on this post.

Nigel Roberts maintains he wrote Thoughts of Oscar alone. He wrote, before it was removed: "As the blog's many followers know, the identity of Oscar has been a 'well kept' secret. Although criticised, this was essential for the blog to function in the way it has.

"I have always been the sole author of the blog - no-one else has ever been involved in it. I have contacted Mr Bebb today and advised him that the sole author of the blog is, in fact, me - Mr Nigel Roberts.

"Mr Bebb says he doesn't believe me. However, that is the truth. No-one else has been involved in the production of the blog. It has never been my intention that the blog offend or injure innocent parties and I have no intention of allowing that to happen now."

As Mr Bebb delivered his speech, Montgomeryshire Tory Glyn Davies sat alongside him to offer moral support. He later tweeted: "Don't think I can be described as a man short of political courage but I'm a wimp compared with Guto Bebb MP."

I suspect Conservative whips will be busy again today. Mr Jones is expected to give his response in a statement later.

Perhaps David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg could skip the next prime minister's question time to go on a peace mission to North Wales.

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