Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Chancellor George Osborne feeling the pain over dominatrix allegations

By Cahal Milmo

George Osborne faced more questions about his role in the decision to bring the former News of the World editor Andy Coulson into the heart of the Conservative Party following new claims yesterday about the newspaper's treatment of a story linking the Chancellor to a former dominatrix and allegations of drug-taking.

Last month it was revealed that Natalie Rowe, who once ran the Black Beauties escort agency offering prostitutes for £350 per hour, had been targeted by the NoTW's private detective Glenn Mulcaire prior to the publication of a story at the height of the last Tory leadership contest about Mr Osborne's friendship with the former vice madam.

A lawyer for Ms Rowe, who is suing Rupert Murdoch's News International for damages over the activities of Mr Mulcaire, said the treatment of her story by Mr Coulson, the then editor of the NoTW, may have had an effect on his subsequent recruitment to Conservative Central Office in 2007, with Mr Osborne's active encouragement.

Mark Lewis, one of the leading lawyers bringing phone-hacking claims, pointed out that Mr Coulson had authorised publication of an editorial putting a positive spin on the 2005 story about Mr Osborne, which claimed he had attended parties where cocaine was widely used. The Chancellor, who was photographed with his arm around Ms Rowe in front of what was reported to be a line of cocaine, has always strongly refuted suggestions that he took drugs.

He played a key role in the decision to recruit Mr Coulson as David Cameron's spin-doctor in the summer of 2007, shortly after the tabloid editor resigned over the hacking scandal at the paper. He subsequently entered No 10 as Mr Cameron's communications chief before resigning in January.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph