Coulson drug spin 'saved' Osborne
Published 13/09/2011 | 05:00
ANDY Coulson helped "spin" a story about George Osborne's past links to a drug-taking dominatrix, preventing severe damage to his political career, it has been claimed
A lawyer for Natalie Rowe, the former boss of an escort agency, has suggested that Mr Coulson's treatment of the story may have been linked to his subsequent appointment as David Cameron's communications chief.
It emerged earlier this year that Mr Osborne had played a key role in recruiting Mr Coulson to work as the Tories' media adviser in 2007.
Ms Rowe, the former head of an escort agency called Black Beauties, gave an interview with the Australian state broadcaster ABC and repeated claims that she witnessed the man who is now Chancellor taking drugs.
A photograph showed her with her arm around him sitting at a table with what she claims was paper used to snort cocaine in front of them.
When those allegations were first published, Mr Osborne dismissed them as a slur. He said Ms Rowe was a casual acquaintance whom he barely knew.
Ms Rowe came to prominence in October 2005 when she sold a story to the 'Sunday Mirror' about her friendship with Mr Osborne in his early 20s.
On the day Ms Rowe's "exclusive" appeared, Mr Coulson's 'News of the World' ran the story as well, accompanied by an editorial emphasising how Mr Osborne totally condemned drugs.
Ms Rowe's lawyer believes that without Mr Coulson's help Mr Osborne's career could have been more seriously damaged by the original story.
Mr Osborne has described claims that he took drugs with Ms Rowe as "defamatory and completely untrue".
He accepts that he knew Ms Rowe but said they met only occasionally. She said that he never attended sex parties she hosted, claiming: "He would do lines but didn't go crazy like the rest."
Mr Osborne has not commented on the fresh allegations. (© Daily Telegraph, London)