[Daily Mail] David Cameron has held crisis talks at Downing Street after being told of allegations of a sensational love affair which has potentially significant political implications for him.
For legal reasons, The Mail on Sunday cannot disclose the identities of the people involved or any details of the relationship – even its duration – other than that they are middle-aged figures. The affair has now concluded.
But this newspaper can report that when aides told Mr Cameron the identities of the alleged lovers he was ‘stunned’, and, according to sources, ‘immediately realised the importance of the story’.
The Prime Minister and his aides also 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.
One senior source told this newspaper last night: ‘This revelation is dynamite. None of us could believe it when we first heard it. Then we just thought, “What a complete mess”.’
The source added that, apart from the political implications, the revelation had caused ‘great personal distress to innocent parties’.
It is understood that the Prime Minister was told of the relationship – which does not involve anyone serving in the Cabinet – within the past few weeks.
If details of the affair do emerge, it could place a further strain on Mr Cameron’s leadership, which is already being tested by backbench revolts over issues such as Europe and gay marriage and rumours of plots being hatched to overthrow him.
On Friday, he faced a further blow when one of his MPs, Patrick Mercer, resigned the party whip after being caught in a cash-for-questions ‘sting’ operation.
If the affair is revealed, it is likely to cause as much public surprise as the disclosure of the relationship between John Major and Edwina Currie, which was kept secret for nearly two decades until 2002.
When asked about the affair last night, a Downing Street source said: ‘This is not something we can talk about.’
Party 1: Rebekah Brooks
Party 2: Andy Coulson
Wow! This UK tabloid scandal is is getting good!
Very brief summary: There is currently a big trial going on the UK regarding the criminal celebrity phone hacking activities of Rupert Murdoch’s staff at News of The World.
Today, the jury learned that Rebekah Brooks (the former editor) and Andy Coulson (her successor) had a six-year affair.
It’s a big deal because Rebekah reported directly to Rupert Murdoch, and Andy worked for David Cameron, the Prime Minster of England. Plus, they are both married to other people. So, this certainly explains why the folks at 10 Downing Street were freaking out over the affair back in June. They knew that this fiasco was going to be front-page news once the trial began!
If you are from the U.S. and aren’t that familiar with the players, this would be like finding out that Condoleezza Rice and Rupert Murdoch had a long-term top-secret affair and together hatched a successful plan to hack Barack Obama and Jennifer Aniston’s phones to listen in on the details of their forbidden love affair with each other! OK, not exactly. But you get the gist. Scandalosa!
The shocking news of the affair was first Tweeted by Caroline Davies of The Guardian.
Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, the two biggest names in the ongoing trial over phone hacking, had an affair for at least six years, the jury in the trial was told on Thursday.
The Guardian’s Caroline Davies tweeted news of the shocking revelation. The affair reportedly spanned from 1998 to 2004, starting before and ending after Brooks’ tenure as editor of News of the World. Rumors of the relationship have been running rampant for months, but nothing had been confirmed until Thursday.
Brooks and Coulson—who preceded Brooks as editor in 2003 and later became the communications chief at Downing Street—are on trial for charges related to phone hacking and illegal payments to public officials. The BBC reported that prosecutor Andrew Edis told jurors , “What Mr. Coulson knew, Mrs. Brooks knew too.” He added that he was disclosing details of the affair because both Brooks and Coulson have been charged with participating in a conspiracy to hack phones.
“When people are charged with conspiracy, the first question a jury has to answer is how well did they know each other?” he said. “How much did they trust each other? And the fact that they were in this relationship which was a secret means that they trusted each other quite a lot with at least that secret and that’s why we are telling you about it.”
Investigators apparently learned of the affair from a letter Brooks sent to Coulson in 2004, after he had seemingly tried to end their secret relationship.
“The fact is you are my best my friend,” the letter read in part. “I tell you everything, I confide in you, I seek your advice, I love you, care about you, worry about you. We laugh and cry together. In fact, without our relationship in my life I’m really not sure I will cope.”
At the time, both Brooks and Coulson were married to other people. Brooks has since remarried; her current husband, Charlie, is on trial with her for allegedly attempting to impede the investigation into her role in the phone hacking scandal.
And here is a pic of the couple out to dinner in 2009… with their spouses! From the left, that’s Eloise Coulson, Rebekah Brooks, Charlie Brooks, and Andy Coulson. Do you think they’re all still friends?
Congratulations to Savvy Geek, who was first with the correct answer!