A congressman who provided a colleague’s phone number to a blackmailer. Is William Wragg not a good fit for this Tory party? | Marina Hyde

wattStart at Westminster latest scandal, without spoiling anything, may I suggest you officially label it “in development”? Among those who revealed his identity was William Wragg, the MP for Hazel Grove, Greater Manchester and chairman of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee. 36. William has been described as a “senior Tory” for some reason – perhaps his penchant for calling on other politicians to resign on moral grounds. Note that being an MP since 2015 means you have seen five major ministers. If anything, you’re a Tory big shot.

Anyway, here’s a rough look at the mess Wragg seems to have gotten himself into. After connecting with someone on Grindr, he started a communication that, in his own words, resulted in his correspondent “compromising me.” As we understand it, Large did not immediately call the police, instead choosing to start providing his tormentors with the numbers of other MPs, Westminster staff and political journalists. These new targets promptly sent photos early in their own interactions with the mystery man. Incredibly but completely believable, at least two MPs subsequently personally sent explicit photos in response.

Thursday night, lager Apologized “They compromised me,” he told The Times, referring to what appeared to be a spear-phishing attack. “They weren’t going to leave me alone. They were going to find someone. I gave Some of them, not all of them.” They. I told him to stop. He manipulated me and now I hurt other people… I hurt others out of weakness. I’m scared. I feel ashamed. I’m sorry that my shameful weakness has caused harm to others. “

Okay, now. This isn’t one of those apologies that doesn’t apologize. No, this is a true masochist, and Raghu correctly believes that his severe weakness is the core flaw that leads to this. However… showing empathy for what had to happen was a horrible and horrible experience and apologizing is not enough. Large has withdrawn from the next general election, but what he needs to determine next is the immediate need for a by-election. The plus side for Reish is that Sunak’s loss of Hazelgrove now will reduce the number of seats the Conservatives will lose at the general election by one.

In any security environment, leaking a congressman’s phone number to a blackmailer/malicious actor is obviously a terrible thing; in the current situation, leaking these phone numbers may be worse than just terrible. We’re not a confused pensioner who could easily fall victim to new technology while dealing with some deplorable cases, but this 36-year-old digital Aboriginal man could easily fall victim to it.

Maybe it would be nice to think that the business of sending photos has become so routine in this day and age that members of Congress wouldn’t care even if threatened with exposure. Yet everything about this story suggests they would care deeply, but it may be an old story in modern garb—but this old story ends in condemnation, mostly for a reason.

As for the possible perpetrators or criminals, we know nothing. Leicester police are reportedly investigating malicious communications directed at an unnamed councilor. It’s hard to know what’s more depressing: the large number of MPs who now reflexively declare such behavior. Basic scam”Oh yeah, it’s going to be a hostile country cast” Or, if it turns out to be a hostile state actor, this low-rent activity is all they need to attract politicians. This is no master of spycraft.

The question of quality will be at the forefront of the public’s mind as generations struggle to understand how Regg – and other unnamed MPs – allowed themselves to be drawn in so easily. Of course, those being blackmailed or threatened with blackmail are the victims—but voters have a right to feel harmed in some way by the numerous scandals that have occurred over the past few years.

It should be said that there are people in both the Conservative Party and the Labor Party who are caught up in the current predicament.But one thing worth thinking about is that, to varying degrees Kompromat– The party itself indulges in legendary gatherings The Dark Art of the Whip Office Euphemistically called “opposition research.” Does this fall into spear phishing? We really don’t know, and this whole area of ​​OPPO research is something that parties don’t like to talk about.

Well, some of them don’t mind. Unfortunately, last weekend reformist leader Richard Tice issued what he called “Special Easter message“Tory MP Jonathan Gullis (a man who people always feared was so stupid that he had to have his phone number leaked to him every day). “Given the number of fascinating facts we have about you, Embarrassing personal information,” Tice posted publicly about his views on X last weekend. “I suggest you stop attacking me.” Hmm.

Richard Tice is forever talking about “draining the swamp” while proving himself to be one of the most disgusting swamp creatures out there. It’s sad when people complain about the competence of Westminster MPs. But, as the Lugg incident also proves, we’re all in this together.

  • Marina Hyde is a columnist for The Guardian

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