One of David Cameron's closest aides has resigned after being arrested on child pornography allegations. Patrick Rock has been closely involved in drawing up Government policy on internet porn filters.
He quit after the Prime Minister learned he was at the centre of a police probe over images of child abuse. Detectives from the National Crime Agency searched No 10 and examined IT systems and offices used by Mr Rock, deputy director of the Downing Street policy unit.
Mr Rock was a protege of Margaret Thatcher and has held a series of senior posts in the Conservative Party. He has been close to Mr Cameron for many years. Described as the Prime Minister's 'policy fixer', the unmarried 62-year-old had been tipped as a leading contender for a Conservative peerage only weeks ago.
His arrest and resignation from Downing Street, where he has worked since 2011, will send shockwaves through the party's high command. The Prime Minister is said to be 'extremely shocked'.
A post in the Needleblog draws attention to the fact that the Daily Mail article about the Paedophile Information Exchange merely regurgitated old material and asks the question: Did the Daily Mail know in advance that Patrick Rock, a close aide to David Cameron was going to be arrested for possessing indecent images of children?
Was the PIE story used for political reasons?