#Hackgate: Met Cops pointing directly at Number Ten…

Like Pete, I am not sure that Sir Paul Stevenson’s response was exactly straight bat. Further, I am not entirely convinced that all these arrests are entirely necessary. Although they are great for the optics, and serve to keep Westminster in a lather for a while longer, beginning an investigation/inquiry is not the same as finishing one.

In the fullness of time, we’ll get see what, if anything, the Feds pick up from their high profile investigation too. But the New York Times is probably closest to the truth what drove Stevenson to draw the PM into matters: Stain From Tabloids Rubs Off on a Cozy Scotland Yard.

But at the moment it is Number Ten that’s under pressure. Damian ‘Blood Crazed Ferret’ Thompson at the Telegraph wastes no time in getting the boot in:

John Yates offered to brief Downing Street on Neil Wallis and – it seems – Ed Llewellyn, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, didn’t accept the offer and told Yates that he would be “grateful” if the matter was not raised.

Watergate, eh? Mr Yates clearly has no great love for elected politicians. Instead of offering an explantion for his own actions inactions over the hackgate controversy, he’s slinging mud at Number ten. The trouble is some of it may be beginning to stick.

Today’s leader in the Telegraph may explain why the price on Mr Cameron not making the weekend (16/1 according to William Hill) is dropping alarmingly quickly:

Mr Cameron wants to draw a distinction between, on the one hand, his relationship with Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson, and on the other, the police’s relationship with Mr Wallis. But this simply won’t wash.

Last week, No 10 published a list (which was yesterday revealed to have been incomplete) of the Prime Minister’s official and semi-official meetings with a variety of people, including media executives.

A full account of his social engagements with Mrs Brooks and other NI executives is also required. It might help explain why he appointed Mr Coulson in the first place – a fateful decision that lies at the root of the difficulties he faces.

Which is just about where we came in….

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

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