Marke Clarke, pictured in Tatler
'Tatler Tory' Mark Clarke (2nd L) is at the centre of the Conservative bullying scandalGetty/Condé Nast/Tatler Magazine

The Conservatives have been engulfed by a bullying scandal that has seen one minister, Grant Shapps, resign and another top Tory, Robert Halfon, admitting to having an affair with a party activist. A before now little-known Conservative campaigner called Mark Clarke has been at the heart of the controversy.

The Unilever consultant faces accusations of plotting to blackmail the aide close to Halfon, bullying Elliott Johnson before the 21-year-old took his own life and abusing his position in the RoadTrip 2015 campaign. Clarke, however, has strenuously denied these allegations.

But either way, the Tories have decided to expel the former Conservative Future chairman for life from the party and top law firm Clifford Chance has been drafted in alongside the Tories' own internal probe to investigate the claims made against Clarke and how they were dealt with.

In the meantime, the 38-year-old has been given the "Tatler Tory" nickname by the media. But how did Clarke earn it?

The Old Alleynian (an old boy of the private Dulwich College in London) featured alongside nine other Conservative hopefuls in a 2008 feature for Tatler magazine. The glossy monthly covers everything from high society to politics and tipped Clarke to become a future trade and industry secretary.

The then Tooting parliamentary candidate – he lost to Labour's Sadiq Khan by more than 2,500 votes in 2010 – heaped praise on David Cameron, who had apparently "made it cool to be a Conservative".

The magazine also importantly listed his credentials – Dulwich of course, Durham University (though not Oxbridge) and his relation to Dame Eugenia Charles, the first female prime minister of the Caribbean or the "Iron Lady of the Caribbean".

A suited and booted Clarke posed alongside other wannabe MPs. Bristol West MP Charlotte Leslie and Oxford West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood also took part in the piece. Tatler claimed: "The new generation of Conservatives defy any stereotype. They are feisty and impressive examples of how David Cameron's Notting Hill Toryism reaches further than leafy W11."