Coffee House

No10 rejects suggestions that it covered up the arrest of Patrick Rock

4 March 2014

1:06 PM

4 March 2014

1:06 PM

After this morning’s shock Daily Mail splash on Patrick Rock’s arrest, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman was grilled on the case at the noon lobby briefing. He repeatedly told journalists that the matter was immediately referred to the National Crime Agency.

But why was the arrest, which took place on in the early hours of 13 February, not briefed to the press – until it leaked last night? The spokesman said:

‘Well, hold on. Number 10 immediately referred this to the National Crime Agency. Of course, this is all directly linked to a police investigation and I don’t think we would proactively comment on that… I think that when… I think it is no surprise that we would not comment proactively on police investigations…When a question was put to us, we responded, obviously subject to the constraints of there being an ongoing police investigation.’

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But why didn’t Downing Street announce that the deputy director of the Policy Unit had resigned?

‘There’s a direct link to a police investigation, that’s the explanation… I don’t think people would expect us to proactively comment on things that were directly linked to police investigations.’

He was also asked why Rock’s colleagues were told that he had been off sick. The spokesman replied:

‘I don’t think that that was the case. It’s not correct to say that Downing Street staff have been told that.’ Asked again what colleagues were told about why he wasn’t there, the spokesman said he was ‘not going to get into an internal staffing matter’.

The spokesman also confirmed that a ‘complaint around alleged inappropriate behaviour was made’, but wold not give details on the outcome of that complaint, saying it would be ‘quite inappropriate’ and that the matter was dealt with ‘very seriously’. When he was asked whether anyone else in Downing Street had been arrested, he said:

‘Absolutely not to my knowledge, no.’

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  • computeruser

    Patrick Rock spider.

  • Peter Stroud

    At least the Mail’s exposure of Rock’s arrest, and Littlejohn’s very critical piece on the subject, shows it is not afraid of taking to task Cameron and his friends.

  • telemachus

    But all of this explains the Mail’s “pre-emptive strike” by harping back to the 40 year old slurs on Harman, Dromey and Hewitt.
    Clear now that Lynton Crosby terrified by the linking of this to Coulson organised the neutralisation of Labour’s guns

    • monty61

      Certainly plausible.

  • David Bush

    It’s now abundantly clear why the Tory party were so quiet when the Daily Mail was attacking Harriet Harman. The difference in the blanket coverage in the right wing press between Harman and Cameron’s pal tells its own tale.

    • Ridcully

      Exactly, just look how today’s Daily Mail buried the story on its front page!

      • MrDavidbush

        The difference being that Harmans story was 30 years old. The Mail had it on the front page for three days, plus lots of articles inside. It was quickly taken up by the BBC and Harman was grilled on Newsnight. Patrick Rock was arrested on the 13 February , yet it only appeared yesterday ( was there a global crisis …oh yes Russia ) Comments were open for Harman, the Mail has blocked comments on Cameron or Rock . He will not be on the front page for the next two days. Explain that .

        • Makroon

          Ha-ha, absolute distortion of the facts, do you work for the BBC ?

          • dharush

            Don’t suppose you want to point out the inaccuracies?

          • MrDavidbush

            Are you a friend of Mr a Rock ? :)

        • post_x_it

          Rock = live judicial proceedings; no editor in their right mind would allow comments on that.

        • Ridcully

          James Chapman, the Daily Mail journalist who broke the story, is on record as saying that he only made aware of it the day before it appeared on their front page:
          http://order-order.com/page/3/
          As for the BBC, they sat on the Harman story for as long as they could until it became too big for them to ignore. When they finally did report it, the focus was on Harman’s and Labour’s rebuttals rather than the story itself.

        • Ridcully

          James Chapman, the Daily Mail journalist who broke the story, is on record as saying that he only made aware of it the day before it appeared on their front page:
          http://order-order.com/page/3/
          As for the BBC, they sat on the Harman story for as long as they could until it became too big for them to ignore. When they finally did report it, the focus was on Harman’s and Labour’s rebuttals rather than the story itself.

      • Makroon

        Of course, the “public service broadcaster” ignored the Harman affair for a week, then broadcast her denial. They were much quicker off the mark with this one.

        • MrDavidbush

          What annoys you is that you and your conservative friends used the thirty year old non story to attack Labour, and all only by association and smear. Within a few days, at the very heart of No 10, a top Tory is found to be looking at child abuse images. Cameron has been a friend of his for twenty years. I can only imagine what the Mail would have done if this had been in the Labour Party or a Union! Your fox has not only been shot , it’s been roped apart. If ever I believe what a Daily Mail journalist tells me, send me the way of the fox. Those who crawled out of the woodwork to attack Harmon should quickly crawl back again.

          • Ben

            paedophiles are ok so long as they are YOUR paedophiles?

            • MrDavidbush

              Using upper case letters adds little , although it makes the author sound wierd . Accusing total strangers of having any soft spot for paedophiles might make you feel better, but merely adds to the impression that you may be slightly unhinged. Seek help.

              • Ben

                Using upper case in fact adds emphasis. Nothing about paedophiles makes me feel better…. regardless of the political tribe they might be affiliated to. They are ALL bad.

                How am I unhinged?

  • Barakzai

    James Forsyth blogged earlier that this news is ‘jaw-dropping’. In light of the repeated scandals that afflict contemporary British society – not least in inner Metro-land – it’s anything but jaw-dropping to this provincial observer . . .

    • Tom Tom

      Look at Edathy in Germany, the same problem. Politics attracts deviants and it is clear why PIE found a Deputy Director of MI6 in its membership files

      • HookesLaw

        Politics does not attract deviants – although its clear that bloggs on websites do.
        Deviants are attracted to where they can be in a position to practice their deviance. In previoius years I remember society used to make lihht of jokes about scoutmasters.

        It seems to me, after a moments thought, that if someone (thats ‘if’) is arrested and thought to be part of some wider conspiracy then it would be desirable to keep the arrest quiet for as long as possible whilst investigations continue. It would certainly be unwise for blow the gaff on a possible child abuse scandal. As it is we do not know any specifics, this story could fizzle or it could explode.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Yes, you Camerluvvies certainly want to keep it covered up, that one of your number is a deviant. It’s similar to the multiply accused rapist you lot keep in the House. You have no problems with that sort, they’re right up your alley, and you help them as much as you can.

          • Noa

            Speaking of the unspeakable, the trial begins this month.
            Will he resign beforehand, with a quickly called bye-elcetion, or will it he hang on until the verdict?
            I suspect will find myself torn between the Court and the election campaign trail.

        • Fergus Pickering

          You mean that all scoutmasters are paedophiles? A bit sweping perhaps.

        • Rockin Ron

          So you are outing yourself as a deviant?

      • Makroon

        Speaking of which – all of our hallowed “security services” couldn’t identify this person over decades in government ?
        It beggars belief. Conspiracy of silence ?

  • harrystylist

    Cameron was between a Rock and a hard place.

    • post_x_it

      I’d keep the day job for now.

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