News of the World Whistleblower Found Dead

It’s development after development today, and a particularly sad one at the close of play. The former News of the World journalist Sean Hoare, who was the first to allege that Coulson knew about phone hacking, has been found dead in his Watford home. He was plighted by drink and drug addiction – for which Coulson sacked him. Although the death is unexplained, the Guardian report that the police are not currently treating it as suspicious.

That’s sure to satisfy everyone. 

Why Yates Walked

Yates of the Yard held his head high and said he was leaving with his integrity intact. There was no side swipe at the government, unlike with his boss. Minutes later though the Independent Police Complaint Authority revealed why he was facing suspension. It is alleged that Yates got Neil Wallis’s daughter get a job at Scotland Yard. Yates told the press this morning that he saw no reason to walk…

Tory MPs Run to the Hills

One thing that has been extremely noticeable today is the complete lack of Tory MPs coming out to bat for Cameron. Boris kicked him below the belt earlier and the rolling news channels, that have discussed nothing else today, have been void of any friendly blue faces. Even Nick Clegg had to be put out to say that the Prime Minister had no need to resign. Talk about scraping the barrel.

James Forsyth has also picked up on the silence and notes that the phones are extremely quiet too. The PM’s TV man Craig Oliver is in Africa with Cameron, but that is not an excuse for allowing the narrative that the PM walking is actually a possibility to gain traction. The Guardian are even suggesting that the PM should be knifed by the LibDems in order to save their electoral fortunes. Guido isn’t so sure that making, and then breaking Cameron, would do the yellows any favours. It is very telling that people are not willing to put their heads above the parapet though, this could be worse than it looks for the Prime Minister. Where’s George? Hague? Hammond?

+ + + Yates No Longer of the Yard + + +
Boris Distances Himself From Coulson Situation

Rather than be suspended Guido hears that the imminent announcement will be that he is walking. Get the popcorn.

UPDATE: Sky confirm.

UPDATE II: Always relied upon to help out his old friend, Boris was just asked at his press conference whether Cameron should consider his position regarding his employment of Andy Coulson. Boris replied that he wasn’t “here to talk about government appointments”. On repeated questioning the Mayor essentially told hacks that this was Downing Street’s problem so they should ask them. Ouch…

UPDATE III: That Boris knife in full:

“I’m not here to discuss government appointments. Those questions you must address to government. I don’t think there’s a very clear read across” [from Sir Paul Stephenson hiring Neil Wallis to Mr Cameron hiring Andy Coulson]. This is a matter you must address to No 10 Downing Street.”

Norman Smith Replaces Laura Kuenssberg

Norman Smith will replace Laura Kuenssberg after she jumped to ITV. Though you may not recognise the face, his dulcet tones have served him well as Radio 4’s chief political correspondent. Guido understands there was a bit of a “bun fight” for the job, with lots of hats in the ring. 

You can follow Norman on Twittter here, though he might want to change his username now…

BBCNormanS surely?

+ + + Yates Will Be Suspended + + +

It remains to be seen whether he decides to fall on his truncheon.

Developing…

While the PM’s Away…

If it was ever possible to get excited about an Ed Miliband speech, today’s might just come close. Not for his droning on about responsibility and the failures of those in power, nor for his pitiful attempt to play the father of the nation, linking three problems that boiled over while he was in government, but for the fact he made things a whole lot worse for Cameron.

Miliband went about as close as a Leader of the Opposition can come to calling for the Prime Minister to resign without actually saying it. Observant Ed said this is a time for leadership, but Cameron is “unable to provide the leadership this country needs” on account of being  “hamstrung by his own decisions” concerning Coulson. Given Ed’s track record in calling for resignations, such as with Cable and Ken Clarke, Cameron won’t be phoning the Palace just yet. There is no denying though that the Miliband just stepped things up a gear…

Yates Left Hanging

Things aren’t looking good for old Yates of the Yard. Many pundits are now arguing it will be when, rather than if he goes. Both Boris and Cameron have done precisely zilch to throw him a lifeline, both saying he has serious questions to answer. Ivan Lewis just said he should consider his position, something that the Police Authority are doing right now. Guido reckons it could be the Yates formerly of the Yard within hours. There is a statement pencilled in for 12:30. The prospect of another parting shot across the bows from an outgoing copper is mouth-watering… 

UPDATE: Yates has been recalled to give evidence before the Home Affairs select committee tomorrow. In uniform?

UPDATE II: The Telegraph claim that Boris will announce Yates will be suspended later today.

Good Day to Bury Bad Views

Imagine if one of David Cameron’s closest advisers had said it was time for the UK to “draw the line” on immigration and even renegotiate EU rules that allow free movement of workers. Labour backbenchers would be trotted out to […]

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Rich and Mark’s Monday Morning View

[…]

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Quote of the Day

Labour’s Austin Mitchell muses on the campaign:

“What’s the problem? No use pointing at the leader. Too late to change and unnecessary for Miliband is doing well at Question Time. His problem is connecting with the real world. He doesn`t speak people and his protective team of naive kids are playing West Wing rather than letting the leader relate to real people. We could point at the party, shrunk in numbers and enthusiasm because everything, from policy formulation to candidate selection, comes top down rather than bubbling up from below so campaigning becomes the opium of members deprived of any real role, though they`re not even sure what they’re campaigning about, with or for, but its role is marginal.”

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