David Blackburn

Vice girl Rowe takes another hit at Osborne

Vice girl Rowe takes another hit at Osborne
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“I said to George [Osborne] jokingly that when you're prime minister one day I'll have all the dirty goods on you, and he laughed and took a big fat line of cocaine,” says Natalie Rowe, a former madam of the Black Beauties escort agency, in an interview with ABC’s PM programme. She adds, "It's been said in the newspapers that he was at university. He wasn't. At the time he was working for [former Tory leader now foreign secretary] William Hague...I remember that vividly because he called William Hague insipid."

This is not the first time that Rowe has made these allegations against Osborne, as the above picture attests. The chancellor has always vehemently denied her claims and at no point have they been substantiated.The latest incarnation of the story, predictably, relates to phone hacking. ABC reports:

‘After some negotiation, Ms Rowe decided to sell her story [in October 2005] to The Sunday Mirror. She was then shocked when on the same day it was published on page one of the News Of The World.

Police have since told her that reporters from Rupert Murdoch's biggest selling newspaper were hacking her phone.

More stunning to her lawyer Mark Lewis was the way the News Of The World approached Ms Rowe's story, calling her a cocaine-snorting call girl and using an unnamed source to undermine her credibility.

"The editor at the time was Andy Coulson. And I think that's worth remembering because of the future relationship that we have between the Conservative Party, the prime minister and Andy Coulson," Mr Lewis said.

Mr Coulson also wrote an editorial - or had it written for him - dismissing Ms Rowe's story.’

Lewis goes on to say that "George Osborne was almost indebted to Andy Coulson. Andy Coulson had done George Osborne a favour and perhaps it was time for George Osborne to reciprocate and do a favour back."

This resuscitated story possesses the unmistakable scent of opportunism. But although Rowe’s tales are likely to remain unsubstantiated and Lewis’ insinuations baseless, the chancellor will still be damaged to an extent. Bullingdon club sleaze is an embarrassment, especially for the man responsible for the age of austerity. And the suggestion, first offered publicly by Rebekah Brooks during her select committee testimony in July (and denied by Cameron a day later), that it was Osborne who engineered Andy Coulson’s appointment as the Conservative’s communications director casts doubt on his judgment.