Rumours began to circulate on the blogosphere a couple of days ago about a planned Labour dirty tricks campaign running up to the next General Election. Allegations were made that Labour planned to smear senior Conservative MPs with half truths and complete fabrications. The whole truth has now come out thanks to a leak to Paul Staines, the author of the Guido Fawkes blog.
Essentially a key 10 Downing Street staffer (Damian McBride – pictured with Brown above) was at the heart of the plot and he was to be assisted by the editor of Labour’s new “LabourList” blog Derek Draper. The Sunday Times has published some of the details in tomorrow’s edition here. The smears included:
- That a gay Tory MP had promoted his partner’s business interests without declaring the relationship
- That David Cameron had suffered from a sexually transmitted infection
- That Shadow Chancellor George Osborne was fearful of the publication of some compromising photographs, that he had sex with a prostitute, and that his wife suffered from mental illness
- That a new female Conservative MP had sex with a colleague during a Parliamentary away day
All of these allegations are unfounded and untrue but that would not have stopped McBride and Draper publishing them to “put the fear of God into Osborne” and his colleagues.
There has been a massive campaign on the blogosphere to counter attempts to make light of McBride and Draper’s actions and tonight McBride has been forced to resign from his tax-payer funded six-figure job in Downing Street.
I very much hope that this will be the end of such disgraceful and repulsive campaigning techniques. Further I believe that the Police should be asked to investigate the matter and if appropriate bring the authors of the plot to court. When Conservative PPC Ian Oakley was found to have run a dirty tricks campaign against his opponents he was rightly prosecuted and given a suspended jail sentence. McBride should not be immune because of his closeness to the Prime Minister.
There is no place for nasty tactics like this in politics at any level and those who are found to have participated should pay a heavy price.