Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Who's next? Ed Llewellyn?

Hacking, hackery wholesale stuff. But as I ask. Who's next?

We know who the bodies in the Press are, Coulson, Brooks Wallis (and sadly Hoare).

We know who the bodies in the Police are Stephenson and Yates (and now we see that the Met's PR chap  Dick Fedorcio is being investigated by the IPCC).

So the question still remains, which political body will be thrown off Cameron's husky driven sledge to satisfy the wolves. My guess is Ed Llewellyn, the Downing Street Chief of Staff.

The point is that the Coulson scalp was too long ago and he is now seen as much as NOTW as politics.

The pack want another victim and Llewellyn looks to ne to be it. Cameron is burning the midnight Carbon credits winging his way back to Blighty. And he needs to be at the very top of his game tomorrow. But even if he is the altar needs feeling. Now look at this piece by Allegra Stratton a few days ago,
The prime minister admitted that despite the information being passed from one of his closest aides, Steve Hilton, to his chief of staff, Ed Llewellyn, Llewellyn took the judgment that the information was already substantially contained in news reports in the public domain.

However, in a fresh statement, the Guardian reveals that Llewellyn was informed by the paper on a second occasion about Coulson's connections to Jonathan Rees, a private detective then facing charges for conspiracy to murder, and previously jailed for conspiracy to plant cocaine on an innocent woman.
Or this,
The prime minister has suggested that the Guardian did not raise any concerns about Coulson after deputy editor Ian Katz's conversation with No 10 director of strategy Steve Hilton in February 2010.

In fact Katz met No 10 chief of staff Ed Llewellyn at the Conservative Party conference on 4 October 2010 and had a further conversation about Coulson's involvement with hacking, as part of a wider conversation of the political scene. In particular they discussed the Rees case, details of which had still not been published because he was still awaiting trial for murder.

Alan Rusbridger said: "The prime minister's account of why he failed to act on the information we passed his office in February 2010 is highly misleading. Any ordinary person hearing of the unpublishable facts about a convicted News of the World private investigator facing conspiracy to murder charges would have recognised the need to investigate the claims."
Now with Coulson gone Cameron needs Hilton, so the polished Ed tenure looks distinctly shakey. As Guido put it,
Ed didn’t pass on the warning to Cameron. Hilton says he is at fault for not doing so. Ed counters that if Hilton thought it so important, why didn’t he tell Dave himself? The image of the PM employing people who employ people who associate with axe murderers is not a good one…

And if he goes then this could have interesting repercussions as to policy outside the Hacking firefight. Hilton is being trailed as a leading Eurosceptic at Cameron's top table.
Downing Street director of strategy Steve Hilton is said to have swung behind moves for the UK to go it alone after being shocked to discover how much sovereignty has switched from Westminster to Brussels.

But this position has always been opposed by, why of course Ed Llewellyn
His stance is strongly opposed by Mr Cameron’s pro-EU chief of staff, Ed Llewellyn, who worked for former Tory EU Commissioner Chris Patten and passionate pro-European Liberal Democrat Paddy Ashdown.

Now personally I don't believe that Hilton is Eurosceptic at all, or not in any serious way. These stories about him are to me an obvious attempt to head of discontent in the Tory Party with Cameron's drift onto the shoals of the European Union.

But if Llewellyn goes then it all comes in stark relief.

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