The latent tension in the Partido Popular (PP) in recent months between the party’s national leadership and the president of the Community of Madrid exploded out of control yesterday. On Wednesday night two national media – El Mundo and El Confidencial – published that the party had spied on Ayuso. The alleged spying was allegedly intended to produce a dossier with evidence of the alleged corruption that has been touching the president of Madrid. The aim was to clarify whether Isabel Díaz Ayuso’s brother, Tomás Díaz Ayuso, had received a commission of 280,000 euros for a 1.5 million euro contract paid for 250,000 masks.
Following the publication of this information, the newspaper El País reported that the PP leadership acknowledged an investigation. Apparently, the alleged spying on Ayuso had been carried out through the Municipal Housing Company, which depends on the Madrid City Council. The mayor of the city, José Luis Martínez Almeida, also of the PP and party spokesman, has denied the information. He has said that he is not aware that detectives were hired from this company to spy on the PP president. But yesterday afternoon, the mayor’s right-hand man – Ángel Carromero – resigned from his post at Madrid City Hall.
At midday, Isabel Díaz Ayuso appeared before the media and directly held the national president of her party, Pablo Casado responsible for all the spying. “I never imagined that my party would act so cruelly towards me.”
At three o’clock in the afternoon, Ayuso received a forceful reply from the secretary general of the PP, Teodoro García Egea. He accused her of making “almost criminal” accusations against Casado – which have already been placed in the hands of the party’s legal services. In addition, he explained that when the party received information in September about a possible irregular contract affecting Ayuso’s entourage, Casado called the president and asked her to report it. Something that, according to García Egea, the president of the Community has not done.
The crisis in the PP has caused a seismic shift in the political map of Madrid and Spain. It seems clear that coexistence between the president of Madrid and the president of the PP is now impossible. And given the obvious shortcomings of the PP’s national leader, it is likely that both figures will eventually end up ‘burned’. That is the only hope for the Spanish centre right. It would be the way for a candidate capable of beating Pedro Sánchez and the PSOE in the next general elections to emerge… And for that purpose all eyes are on the president of the Xunta de Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo.