I was going to head to Westminster Magistrates today for the start of Ian Clement's fraud trial, but in the end I decided against it.
I had assumed that he would keep schtum and besides, there's only so far you can stretch the description of a man's suit, into a blog post.
As it turned out, Clement offered no plea and there would have been little point in me hanging around all day for a statement.
However, despite his reticence in court, it seems that he is only too keen to set the record straight here online.
Here he is taking his old friend and colleague James Cleverley to task on his blog:
Ian Clement said...
James,I too knew and liked you and as one of your constituents I consider you do a good job.I am sadden that instead of actually contacting me, something you have not done since I resigned on the 22nd of June, to at least hear my side of the story so a rounded and informed view of my situation could be considered you chose to vent forth on you blog indiscriminately.Further as you do not know what I have been charged with and the details of those charges then how can you say that it is absolutely right that I have been charged and by inference assume my guilt.I also assume by your comments that you do not support the Met Police amnesty for officers who have misused their corporate credit cards, no resignations there just training and will be lobbying the CPS to press charges as it is as you say absolutely right that no one is seen to be above the law no matter who they are.In conclusion, I would also ask you to note that I resigned, I did not receive or seek any type of payoff, that I was never a professional politician as such, unlike many of those who inhabit the corridors of westminster but an ordinary person who made mistakes and paid a price for those mistakes.
To which one of James's readers replies:
what do you mean "I was never a professional politician as such"!? You were the Deputy Mayor for London and paid £127,000 a year (plus expenses). What did you think it was - a hobby?
I think any hope that he would just go quietly, must be fading fast.
Ian Clement will appear before the Crown Court on October 6th.