George Osborne said in October 2005:
“The allegations are completely untrue and dredging up a photo from when I was 22 years old is pretty desperate stuff.
This is merely part of a smear campaign to divert attention from the issues that matter in this leadership contest and I am confident people will not be distracted by this rubbish.
Twelve years ago a friend of mine went out with a woman called Natalie and they had a child together.
I met them together occasionally in the autumn of 1993, and it soon became clear that my friend had started to use drugs.
He became more and more addicted and I saw his life fall apart.
With his other friends I tried to persuade him to seek treatment.
Eventually he did and after a long time in rehabilitation he has now recovered and put his life back together.
I am very proud of the battle he has fought and won.
That is, and always has been, the sum total of my connection with this woman.
It was a stark lesson to me at a young age of the destruction which drugs bring to so many people’s lives.
Ever since then I have believed that tough, realistic policies to tackle the evil of drugs should be one of the top priorities of any government.
I now want to respect the privacy of my friend who is now happily recovered and working full-time abroad, and the privacy of his young child.
For the sake of that child I think we should leave them alone.”
He’s up in the House at 15:30. First one to shout “Louise” gets a spanking…