Fresh unease in the Conservative Party

Dawn raids NOT based on Newscorp derived evidence

Operation Weeting finally landed a big fish this morning with the arrest of Rebekah and Charlie Brooks by the Metropolitan Police. Four others were also charged. Significantly, although her initial collar-feeling experience last year was to do with conspiring to intercept telecoms, today the charge is understood to be conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Equally significant is that the arrest is not based in any way upon information supplied by Newscorp, as part of its ongoing attempt to toss the odd morsel to the wolves.

“One or two people are extremely alarmed by this development,” understated a senior backbench Tory MP this morning, “the horse incident reiterated the closeness between Mr Cameron and Mrs Brooks. Now this. Some of us have always felt he [Cameron] should’ve played much more safe in his friendships since last year’s arrests.”

In the past few months, The Slog has received several confirmations – from both media and other sources – that Brooks and Cameron have continued to exchange texts regularly, while working assiduously not to be seen together. They are also rumoured still to have certain other recreational pursuits in common beyond horse-riding.

Another senior MSM contact last week gave me a run-down on the condition of the Prime Minister’s former press secretary Andy Coulson, describing him as drinking heavily, very badly depressed, and feeling “hung out to dry” by both his political and media bosses. I hear that this has been noted and filed for future reference by those around Tom Watson. I couldn’t find any Labour MPs to  buttonhole this morning, but a prominent regional organiser expressed the view that “the Party really does scent blood now. One Minister I’m close to is convinced that some of the Prime Minister’s previous statements are about to be contradicted on oath”.

I have said since last October that I feel Hackgate will, in the end, do for David Cameron. But whether it does or not, the matter of his involvement with this corrupt media organisation has suddenly become a red-hot issue again.

In many ways, it’s a pity this news broke on the same morning as Mario Draghi was caught fiddling The Greek Bailout that Isn’t Really. Tune in and see what you think. The Slog believes Athens is being set up….and March 23rd as a viable default date remains intact.