Political editor WALTER CRONXITE has been documenting wannabe MP Mario Creatura’s career for more than a decade, and now may be writing one of its final chapters
Mario Creatura’s inexorable drift into political obscurity looked to take one of its final turns yesterday when he handed in his notice from the £24,000 per year tax-payer funded non-job as chief whip to the Tory group at Croydon Town Hall.
The rule-breaking former parliamentary aide to Gavin Barwell, when he was Conservative MP for Croydon Central, never disguised his own overweening ambition to get elected to parliament. It saw Creatura align himself with a law-breaking cult, which was accused of multiple counts of fraud and abusive behaviour towards young people, yet failed to win the Croydon Central seat back at the 2019 General Election.
And it even saw Creatura, literally, bet his house to get selected for the safe Tory seat of Reigate. But despite moving his family to Banstead, Creatura did not even get on to the candidate long list to succeed the urbane Conservative MP Crispin Blunt.
Now unqualified to stand in Croydon’s next local elections, Creatura, a Coulsdon councillor since 2014, may be set to wind down his failed political career over the next couple of years, unless he resigns from the council altogether beforehand.
On Friday night, Creatura had seen Jason Cummings, his former work colleague in Barwell’s office and later in Downing Street, selected as Conservative parliamentary candidate for the new Croydon East seat. On Sunday afternoon, Croydon Conservatives, without even a hint of reluctance, announced Creatura’s resignation as their chief whip. The timing might just be coincidental.
Creatura had been pocketing “special responsibility allowances” as chief whip since 2016, though for reasons known only to themselves, neither Jason Perry, the current leader of the Conservative group at the Town Hall, nor his predecessor, Tim Pollard, considered Creatura suited to a proper council cabinet job.
When he was given such responsibility, for the communities and policing brief, Creatura barely lasted two years before he was sacked.
As whip, he was tasked with ensuring Croydon’s Conservative councillors turned up for meetings when they were meant to and voting how they were expected to. But he was frequently absent, so that even Creatura’s own party colleagues took to calling him “WINO”: whip in name only.
Since he lost his day job at No10 when Theresa May resigned as Prime Minister, Creatura has revelled in descriptions of himself as “ex-Downing Street digital guru”. Trading on his past political associations and contacts, he recently landed a job as director at West End public relations firm MHP Group where, presumably, he’s expected actually to work for his salary.
Even when it came to drafting a resignation statement, sloppy Creatura (or one of his Tory mates) could not get that right. “Now is the right time to hand the reigns [sic] to my successor,” Creatura was reported as having said on the Croydon Tories’ website.
“I remain committed to my residents in Coulsdon Town,” said Creatura, who in the past five years has never bothered to book a venue in which to hold anything as straightforward as a monthly ward surgery, as most diligent and hard-working councillors might do.
“I will continue to work hard, supporting Mayor Perry’s mission to deliver much-needed improvements across our wonderful borough,” Creatura is supposed to have said.
Perry paid tribute to Creatura’s efforts, calling him a “pillock”. Or was that “pivot”?
Mayor Perry claimed that Creatura played “a central role in delivering our odds-defying election victory in May 2022”, confirming again that even Perry never expected to win the mayoral election, nor could believe what a pig’s ear Labour would manage to make of their local election campaign.
Luke Shortland, who works for the Conservative Party at City Hall, will take over as Tory whip at Croydon Town Hall “following a transitionary period with the current chief whip that began several weeks ago”, according to the local party website. Shortland will now be paid an additional £12,000 per year in taxpayer-funded “special responsibility allowances”. Which might explain why he appears with a smile like a dog that’s just licked its own balls.
In other news, as the Conservative Party continues to tear itself apart while wrecking the country, Creatura’s old boss, Lord Barwell, had a little social media whinge yesterday.
“Found out this morning that [Liz Truss] has blocked me,” Barwell wrote on Twitter.
“Think she is the first person ever to do so. So much for being an advocate of free speech…”.
Creatura blocked Inside Croydon on Twitter at least 10 years ago, when he was employed by free speech advocate Barwell, being paid out of tax-payers’ money to fix-up the MP’s Wikipedia entry and conduct various other dodgy online practices. Oh, the irony…
Read more: Creatura AWOL from cabinet as wannabe MP goes partying
Read more: Finally, Coulsdon’s Tory councillor Creatura cuts before he runs
Read more: Creatura hands Edwards front-row seat for Fairfield by-election
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