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.


  1. They are all as bad as each other and want their heads knocking together, Tom Watson included. He needn’t think he’s going to come out whiter than white when ALL the scandal of what they have all been up to comes out.

  2. “I have said since last October that I feel Hackgate will, in the end, do for David Cameron.”

    Is it not important that the overwhelming bulk of hacking, police cover-ups and widespread corruption of the Met Police and God-knows what else all happened during the 13 year Blair/Brown premierships? Do you think they are clean?

    And I repeat that the Attorney General is looking into whether comments made at Leveson’s party by Sue ‘Akers of the Yard’ may prejudice future prosecutions.

    27 arrests so far, no charges brought.

  3. “News International has confirmed that its head of security, Mark Hanna, is among the six people being held.” BBC

  4. “They are also rumoured still to have certain other recreational pursuits in common beyond horse-riding.”

    Is it a mutual love of opera? French cinema? Or Colombian marching powder?!

    And I’m still very much a believer in march 23rd. The EU is giving it away with its stalling and waffling. “buy more time, we’re nearly there”. And yet Greece doesn’t seem to see it coming?

  5. Conspiracy to pevert justice…..
    Neatly ties just about everything together both UK and EU and MP’s of all legislature and party

  6. According to the Independent on March 9th, Ofcom as also investigating the whole kit and caboodle to see if the Murdochs should lose their licences. Including Bskyb.
    There must be at least a thousand lunches in this one, so I’m sure it’ll be “slow ahead for as long as we can drag it out.”

  7. LOL so we are now meant to believe that a corrupt police force has suddenly gone straight. Please. I will not hold my breath. A few may get charged. Not sure Rebekka or Charlie will, but if they do the case will fall apart for some reason or other. Cameron will be protected, and Blair will carry on bring in $50 million a year as middle peace envoy or whatever.

    I think Coulson will go down, and the reason he is drinking right now is the price he has been offered to keep his mouth shut. It’s a devil’s deal, but I think he will take it.

  8. When he reported on this earlier Guido had a rather nice sting in the tail ..

    “The two arrested in Oxfordshire are thought to be Charlie and Rebekah Brooks. The Met were not thought to be looking for the return of their horse…”

  9. And I’m still very much a believer in march 23rd. The EU is giving it away with its stalling and waffling. “buy more time, we’re nearly there”. And yet Greece doesn’t seem to see it coming?

    I have a hard time believing those in Greece esp the ex banker PM does not know what is going on. So either a) they do and are in on it, or b) march 23rd is not going to happen. At this point I am starting to think March 23rd will not happen

  10. one last thought that charlie arrest might be related to that briefcase that showed up in a bin. Would love to know what was in it. John, any of your sources know anything about that.

    Also John when this scandal first broke several posters at the Guardian said Murdoch had photo evidence on Brown. They never said what it was, but seemed bad. I have to believe that Murdoch has the goods on quite a few British politicians and PM’s. Also have to think some very powerful forces have thrown Murdoch under the bus, the question is why?

  11. “Also have to think some very powerful forces have thrown Murdoch under the bus, the question is why?”
    You can answer that question easily enough, if you think back to what Murdock was allowing to be reported in the NOTW, and its a darned sight worse than hacking!

  12. Also puts the Met in a powerful position, doesn’t it? More bribery and corruption I feel, not less will come of this. Of course, there will be a few scapegoats hung out to dry.

  13. There is a meeting tomorrow to determine if Greece has met all the conditions prequisite to receiving the bailout. The conclusion is obviously, no, just on austerity implementation. So anything could happen yet depending on what the EU wants to happen.
    Also the bailout depends on the IMF who meet Thursday, unless it’s postponed until next week???

  14. Is it just a coincedene that these current arrests were made while Cameron and Osborne are across the pond, removing them from MSM scrutiny?:-)

  15. It will be interesting to see if Mirror Group Newspapers, the Daily Mail, and Yes the Guardian, are also put in the frame, so far the focus has been on News International.

    Before all the right wing conspiracy theorists weigh in, it’ll be interesting to see what happens when a few collars start being felt in these sections of the press.

    Also it’s all gone very quiet about Mr Piers Moron….

    Especially since Heather Mills-McCartney flatly contradicted him at the Leveson inquiry about hacking her phone…

    I wonder why?

  16. I was just thinking about Cameron, wondering if the Hackgate scandal will be one of the topics on the unofficial agenda in his talks with Obama. I’m sure the Special Relationship on both sides will be wanting to ensure the media remains tightly swaddled and gagged.

  17. Rupert Murdock is not a very nice man at all, in fact I think many people would describe him as a ruthless sleazeball. But the NOTW investigations are interesting if you look back at them. For example, the NOTW was the paper that broke the story of the abuse at HDLG. Of course, the pet MI5 reporters such as David Rose were soon deployed to do a bit of damage limitation and try to trash the police investigation. But it was Murdocks paper that broke the story initially.

  18. Well it’s good news as far as I am concerned, whatever happens it is great to see these rats dragged down from their giant pedestals. Because of the nature of these beasts I would imagine once they are forced into a corner one will drop the others into it out of pure self interest. I wouldn’t want to rely on any of these characters to watch my back.

    Maybe I am just feeling optimistic today, because I am very sure I have managed to get myself a great little job :)

  19. Indeed, arrest requires ‘reasonable cause to suspect’ a very low threshold. Since 2004 charges for anything other than petty Public Order requires a CPS lawyers’ authorisation.

    A simple and popular mistake though.

  20. I’d like a £ for every time “No comment” is spoken by these 6 within the next 24 hours. I’d also forgo 6 months pension just to be sitting across the interview table watching the ferrous keratin one squirm.

  21. It might make a change from all those left wing conspiracy theorists too. About time the middle of the road conspiracy theorists got a look in!

  22. Ah yes! 2004. That was Blair. It makes sense to bring the CPS into the loop if you want “to manage prosecutions” and kill those which are not convenient by such delightful excuses as “insufficient evidence”.

  23. I’d go more than a pound that no charges will be brought.
    It might be a case of “Too big to prosecute”
    Not sure anybody would want to bring the Govt. down now, except the Labour party….

  24. BT, I think the thing is Blair and Brown etc are already history in political terms. Lots of dirt may well stick to them too. But Cameron is still in the job. If any sticks to him then he’s a goner. I suppose that will mean another election and a good chance of labour government, because they still have their flock of sheep. I hear Canada is quite a nice place to live,

  25. Wasn’t there an Islington connection? Margaret Hodge’s handling of abuse at childrens’ homes in Islington doesn’t appear to have been investigated. with any vigour.

  26. Does anyone know, out of all of those who have been arrested, how many of them are police, civil servants, government employees, etc.

  27. @soap: Good points. But I just can’t shake off my burning desire to see Blair/Brown finally brought to book for all the sickening corrupton that prospered under their tutelage. Whatever, I have a cousin who lives in Vancouver ………….. ;-)

  28. I was talking on the telephone on the train the other day and someone was listening to my conversation. Who do I see about getting some compensation? Also what about all the celebs and important people who had their bins fossicked in before we knew how to hack a voicemail. What about their secrets? Finally what about that drink of water Alastair Campbell who didnt bother with hackage, he just made stuff up!

  29. bt, yes it would be wonderful to see justice done to those two. Imagining Blair on the stand finally facing the music does give me a lovely happy feeling.

  30. On that default date: I will put my virtual money on the week of March 30th because it’s closer to the Easter banking closedown starting Good Friday on April 6th. Greek Orthodox Easter is a week later this year so with private transfers taking 4 working days that creates a 2 week closedown in private transfers and banking between Greece and the EU banks.
    I have no inside information, just seems to make more sense.

  31. It will a great shame if Cameron goes because of his relationship with Brooks.

    He should be going because he is not a Tory, has no credible or useful policies, and because he really doesn’t have a clue what the country’s needs.

  32. Pat
    I’ve been told that Charlie Brooks will be charged and it will be to do with trying to destroy pc evidence. But I have no corroboration on that.

  33. No – shorter charge sheets are the order of the day.

    It’ll probably be money-laundering. Apparently it’s a catch-all and virtually impossible to defend.

  34. I should talk a little less louder in a public place if I were you and didn’t want to be overheard – it’s fairly easy to do. It would appear that most of the celebs/politicians that had their bins ransacked had their secrets exposed if the “newspapers” thought they had a good story or not if the “newspapers” thought they could “use” the information for their own advantage in some other way.
    Finally it would appear from the Leveson Report, no doubt you will have been covering this, that Alastair Campbell was not the only person who made things up to be swallowed wholesale by our terrific bunch of “newspaper” journalists/reporters. Part of what the Leveson Inquiry is all about.

  35. MM
    I don’t care if he goes because of bestial relations with a ferret…just so long as he goes.

  36. Great. I’ll settle for that.
    Anything to hear the sweet sound of doors slamming behind them!

  37. kfc: Not sure anybody would want to bring the Govt. down now, except the Labour party….

    I would and I’m most definitely not Liebour!

  38. @JAH;
    If there was a general election now, Labour WOULD get in. I too loath them both but, what’s the alternative? I might go for UKIP but, I fear they would be “indoctrined” into the ways of Westminster and go native.

  39. Presumably that will be the bag with computer, paperwork and phone that Charlie Brooks was trying to reclaim from security in an underground car park last summer.

    Please, please let it contain Becky’s News International portable with loads of disappeared NI e-mails.

  40. http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2011/07/whats-in-a-name/
    What’s in a Name?

    by craig on July 20, 2011 12:48 pm in Uncategorized

    The police investigation into bribes to police officers by News of the World is called Operation Elveden. It has not identified, suspended or arrested a single bent cop.

    What’s in a name? To Norfolk people Eleveden is a notorious bottleneck on the A11, the main road into and out of the county. You can, literally, queue for miles and for hours to get through Elveden in either direction. It is a place notorious to Norfolk for frustration, obstruction and never getting anywhere. I myself have spent a huge amount of time being stuck by Elveden; it is extremely difficult to avoid or get round. Elveden means no progress.

    Andy Hayman was Chief Constable of Norfolk before moving down to the Met.

    Did the Met name Operation Elveden as a grim in-joke to indicate they would make sure the accusations never went anywhere?


    I have just realised I am definitely right. Operation Weeting is the investigation into the News of the World phone hacking itself. Weeting is the village at the southern end of the notorious Elveden traffic jam.

  41. @kfc – what’s the alternative?

    That’s what I always ask myself. I have inherited a lifelong Conservative viewpoint and I have always voted. I did once vote Labour, for my sins, and I once voted for the, wait for it, yes, the BNP; for my other sins. My next protest vote will be for UKIP, as I can see no other alternative.

  42. Could be a sly narcotic reference also – times is hard, they might have switched from white to brown from the stress of it all…

  43. BT,

    My argument precisely. The CPS were given targets wholly inconsistent with the public interest, you couldn’t make it up.

  44. Can’t see anyone else to vote for. Basically it makes no difference Labour will destroy the country totally if they get another five years, but the current lot are nit exactly fixing anything. At least ukip have one thing right. Voting for the big three just validates the scam they’re pulling

  45. Apparently at school Piers Pugh-Morgan was known as “Piss Puke Moron”.

    Those public schoolboys do have a harsh but fair sense of humour. “Jones Minor says he can’t swim – let’s chuck him in & see if it’s true”

  46. on the news here yesterday was a piece about ‘closer relations/ trade ties etc’ between the uk and ireland. the sight of camoron and edna kenny shaking hands and gurning caused me to put my boot through the telly.i must stop watching the news.unhealthy.

  47. If you ask me this is all part of the usual moving of the news cycle on to something else. Just in time.

  48. “Did the Met name Operation Elveden as a grim in-joke to indicate they would make sure the accusations never went anywhere?


    I have just realised I am definitely right. Operation Weeting is the investigation into the News of the World phone hacking itself. Weeting is the village at the southern end of the notorious Elveden traffic jam.”

    THANK YOU! This is beginning to make a lot of sense to me now.

  49. AJC, you are spot on, yes there was an Islington connection,

    “I met the frightened policeman at an isolated country restaurant, many miles from his home and station. Detective Constable Peter Cook had finally despaired, and decided to blow the whistle to a reporter.
    He was risking his career, so made me scribble my notes into a tiny pad beneath the tablecloth.
    He had uncovered a vicious child sex ring, with victims in both Britain and the Channel Islands, and he wanted me to get his information to police abuse specialists in London.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-523706/I-known-Jersey-paedophiles-15-years-says-award-winning-journalist.html#ixzz1p1t4yoAS

  50. BT, concerning Sue Akers. The people who called her must have known the nature of her job. What was she supposed to talk about? Could this be a ploy to get certain persons off the hook?

  51. Am I losing my humanity if hearing that Coulson may be “very badly depressed, and feeling “hung out to dry” by both his political and media bosses” leaves me feeling warm and snug?

  52. If there was poo to stick on Cameron resulting in his resignation, there wouldn’t be another general election, they would just chose another Tory leader as PM until the 5 year term was up in 2015 .

    Remember, Gordon Fcuknuts was never elected, Tony Bliar just handed him the keys and then laughed his socks off .

  53. Milipede is a complete buffoon without a clue. Remember it was him as New Labs Energy Minister who committed Britain to the huge waste of money on windmills which will never make a worthwhile contribution to Britain’s energy needs and will cost more per Kwh than nuclear power, given maintenance requirements.

  54. I haven’t got a link i’m afraid, but during Browms premiership a case was brought by a west country police force against a private detective who was charged with bugging Browns phone.

    The Judge didmissed the case, to the shock of the police farce involved.
    I suspect Brown at least was more sinned against than siinning.

  55. John,
    did you listen to the “evidence” given to Leveson by the Met’s Dick Fedorcio today? If you haven’t, you really must look at the transcript.
    It was really hard for me to listen to the answers he gave when questioned… his replies even made ME squirm with embarrassment.
    When he was asked about the various “favours” involving his chums “Honest” John Yates and Neil Wallis, I thought the QC was about to tell Fedorcio to take a 10-minute break and come back with at least an attempt to lie convincingly.
    Fedo is on “extended leave” at the moment. I can’t see himeturning to work any time soon….unless he gets a job load-testing ropes under Blackfriars Bridge.

  56. You need to remember the Met has it’s own agenda. They have a global reputation to defend, as the worlds best.

    This has already brought down 3 vey senior coppers, plus their head PR honcho is on extended leave. Everyone knows they’ve been up to their necks in it. They HAVE to be seen to clean house, and to do so thoroughly. For them, this is a once in a few decades crisis, like the Soho vice stuff in the seventies.

    If that happens to create big problems for the sitting (pretty weak) Government and (very elderly, with a obvious succession problem) Rupert Murdoch, they may well calculate that it’s a price well woth paying.

  57. Yes you are , you brute,
    And you should spare a thought for poor Piers Morgan.Imagine the stress the unfortunate man must be feeling, knowing he could lose his well paid American job and end up facing humiliation and possible jail time.

    We should pray for them all.

  58. I feel like opening a branch of he RSPA in Australia for badly treated animals in the UK. They could be flown out here like stud race horses and could enjoy the warmth of the Australian desert. I would start with Rupert and his vile slug family, then Rebekha’s horse then that poor bloody ferret someone is going to poke into very dark places.

  59. Also the start of Cheltenham, important for Charlie Brooks. Cameron not just unable to take their calls, but showing solidarity with the US; a joint US/UK assault on NI would be much more worrying to Murdoch than separate activities.
    So possibly very far from being a coincidence.


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