Monday, June 3, 2013

Labour keen to explore No 10 sex scandal

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Tory affair 'stuns' Downing Street

UK Prime Minister David Cameron is said to be holding crisis talks over allegations of a secret affair that has left him "stunned".

Britain's opposition Labour Party is reportedly seeking to take political advantage of a sex scandal brewing at 10 Downing Street that could significantly damage Prime Minister David Cameron.

On the weekend the tabloid Mail on Sunday splashed with a classic 'Sunday sleaze special': "No. 10 Rocked by Secret Love Affair".

The "stunned" Mr Cameron was in crisis talks over a "sensational love affair which has potentially significant political implications for him".

British Prime Minister David Cameron is said to be shocked at the news of a high-profile affair that has the potential to damage his government.

British Prime Minister David Cameron is said to be shocked at the news of a high-profile affair that has the potential to damage his government. Photo: LUKE MacGREGOR

The PM was said to have found out about the affair several weeks ago.

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At the crisis talks, the Mail said, the PM and his aides "discussed the possible fallout should details of the affair become public — and how such disclosure could 'blow out of the water' any major political set pieces planned by No. 10."

However the newspaper, citing legal reasons, did not name the pair.

It said they were "middle-aged figures" whose affair has now concluded and neither were cabinet ministers.

Well-connected political blogger Paul Staines, who goes by the pseudonym Guido Fawkes, said the prime minvister's political opponents were moving to take advantage if the names become public.

"Labour already helpfully briefing privately on implications of #DowningStAffair for PM. Tory irreconcilables laughing at his predicament," Staines wrote on Twitter.

Most media did not follow up the story. London's Telegraph was one exception, quoting a Downing Street spokesman denying that crisis talks had taken place (though not denying the affair).

But online there was less reticence.

Staines planted a clue on his website over the story, and on Twitter boasted that he had informed an aide to the prime minister about the affair.

"The blood drained from his face, he then took a large swig of his drink," he said.

"The names of the couple are so shocking that surprisingly Twitter hasn't guessed who. Yet."

It didn't take long for Twitter to catch up. The social media site was rife with speculation over two particular names.

Fairfax chooses not to publish the names for legal reasons, and because they cannot be independently verified.


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