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The Ed Llewellyn/ John Yates emails

By Tim Montgomerie
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Lots of excitement today about an email conversation between Ed Llewellyn, the PM's Chief of Staff, and Yates of the Yard from September last year. Here's the exchange in full:

Yates to Llewellyn: 

Hope all well.
I am coming over to see the PM at 12.30 today regarding [redacted: national security] matters. I am very happy to have a conversation in the margins around the other matters that have caught my attention this week if you thought it would be useful.

Best wishes,

Llewellyn back to Yates:

"John -
Thanks – all well.

On the other matters that have caught your attention this week, assuming we are thinking of the same thing, I am sure you will understand that we will want to be able to be entirely clear, for your sake and ours, that we have not been in contact with you about this subject.

So I don’t think it would really be appropriate for the PM, or anyone else at No 10, to discuss this issue with you, and would be grateful if it were not raised please.

But the PM looks forward to seeing you, with Peter Ricketts and Jonathan Evans, purely on [redacted: national security] matters at 1230.

With best wishes,

The bit that I've emboldened is driving the controversy but Ed Llewellyn would, appear to me, to have been doing exactly the right thing. Imagine if Yates had had a conversation with Cameron about police inquiries into the News of the World. There would now be frenzied accusations of Cameron having tried to interfere with Scotland Yard operations to protect Andy Coulson. You can imagine it. Ed Llewellyn was correct to draw a clear line between Cameron and the News of the World case so that there was no blurring of the line between the police and politics.


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