A source featured in the controversial unofficial autobiography of David Cameron has defended his actions by claiming that his critics likely have their sights set on peerages.
James Delingpole, a journalist and prominent voice of the right, told MichaelAshcroft’s co-author Isabel Oakeshott that he smoked cannabis with Mr Cameron as they listened to rock band Supertramp while they were undergraduates at Oxford University.
The writer’s account is among those relayed in the divisive book, which also includes allegations that Mr Cameron put his private parts in the mouth of a dead pig during a student university club initiation ceremony, and that he was aware of LordAshcroft’s offshore tax status earlier than previously stated.
I’m a journalist, not a courtier; my job is to tell stories, not to squish them.
The latest instalment of the book, which is being serialised in the Daily Mail, recounts how London mayor and MP Boris Johnson allegedly threatened to disrupt the 2011 Tory conference to lever a promise of £93 million for policing in London from Chancellor George Osborne.
Lord Ashcroft said Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne were so concerned by Mr Johnson's ability to make mischief that the Chancellor quickly conceded to his demands. Mr Johnson has declined to comment on the matter.
Sources close to the Prime Minister have insisted that the claims in the book are untrue, while Downing Street has not commented on the claims made in Lord Ashcroft’s biography.
Describing how some of their mutual friends had previously suggested “ever so gently” that he would “come to regret” writing about the Prime Minister's younger years, Mr Delingpole said that he had been called a “Judas” in the wake of the revelations surrounding Mr Cameron.
“Each one of those paragons stands to gain from their associations with the Cameron project, in at least one case, possibly, with a peerage. And while I perfectly well understand their touching displays of loyalty to their sponsor, I’m not sure they’re really in a position to deliver moral lectures,” he wrote in The Sunday Times.
The Breitbart website executive editor went on to accuse his contemporaries of having “trimmed their principles” and “killed their spirits […] to benefit from the new Cameroon order.”
“I’m a journalist, not a courtier; my job is to tell stories, not to squish them,” he wrote in the piece.
Mr Delingpole went on to defend the biography as “well researched” and “much fairer” than the extracts which have been published suggest.