Fraser Nelson

Watson denies knowledge of the smear emails

Watson denies knowledge of the smear emails
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Well the "statement" is in - not so much from Tom Watson as from his lawyers, Carter-Ruck, who are complaining about Iain Dale's article in the Mail on Sunday which claimed that Watson was copied into those emails. Here is the statement:

"We have today been instructed by government minister Tom Watson, MP for West Bromwich, in connection with allegations concerning him and the emails exchanged between Damian McBride and Derek Draper relating to a proposed website entitled 'Red Rag'. We have today written to the editors of the Mail on Sunday and the Daily Mail to complain about the publication of the false allegation that our client had knowledge of, and participated in, Mr McBride's actions. We have made it clear that our client has confirmed to us that he was not copied in on any of the emails exchanged between Mr McBride and Mr Draper, nor was he aware of them or their content until their existence was first drawn to the attention of Downing Street by national newspapers, on Friday April 10. He still has not seen them. We have further made it clear that our client had no involvement in or knowledge of the 'Red Rag' website."

But is Watson suing? I suspect not - because, if so, the Mail on Sunday could ask for disclosure and open up Damian's inbox. What a sight that would be. A sight that, something tells me, No10 is not keen to treat us all to. So we can see this as Watson trying to use attack as a defence.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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