Smoking Yates/Llewellyn Emails

Number 10 have released the emails between Scotland Yard and Cameron’s Chief of Staff. Llewellyn’s neck might just be saved by the fact that his “reply was discussed and agreed with the Permanent Secretary at No10″ but that could easily damn them both. There is a head-in-the-sand feel to the reply and particularly damning that neither want to put much into writing:

10 September 2010: John Yates to Ed Llewellyn:

Ed,
Hope all well.
I am coming over to see the PM at 12.30 today regarding [redacted: national security] matters. I am very happy to have a conversation in the margins around the other matters that have caught my attention this week if you thought it would be useful.

Best wishes,
John

10 September 2010: Ed Llewellyn to John Yates:

John –
Thanks – all well.

On the other matters that have caught your attention this week, assuming we are thinking of the same thing, I am sure you will understand that we will want to be able to be entirely clear, for your sake and ours, that we have not been in contact with you about this subject.

So I don’t think it would really be appropriate for the PM, or anyone else at No 10, to discuss this issue with you, and would be grateful if it were not raised please.

But the PM looks forward to seeing you, with Peter Ricketts and Jonathan Evans, purely on [redacted: national security] matters at 1230.

With best wishes,
Ed

In other words “we don’t want to know…”

UPDATE: Reading these again, the killer line has to be: “I am sure you will understand that we will want to be able to be entirely clear, for your sake and ours, that we have not been in contact with you about this subject”. Why would anyone put that in writing? Think they call it a paper trail…




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Quote of the Day

Philip Hammond uses a trip to Berlin to mock the Foreign Secretary:

“A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece. Wise words with some applicability to the Brexit negotiations although I try to discourage talk of “cake” amongst my colleagues.”

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