Samantha Cameron 'sent messages to Rebekah Brooks through intermediaries in Chipping Norton shop' during phone hacking scandal

Extracts from Lord Aschcroft's book have made claims about the Prime Minister's private life and wealthy inner circle 

Heather Saul@heatheranne9
Tuesday 22 September 2015 13:29
Prime Minister David Cameron and wife Samantha arrive at his Tory headquarters in central London
Prime Minister David Cameron and wife Samantha arrive at his Tory headquarters in central London

Samantha Cameron sent messages via intermediaries at a shop in Chipping Norton to Rebekah Brooks after David Cameron reportedly “threw her to the wolves” during the phone hacking scandal, an excerpt from the former Tory donor Lord Ashcroft’s book has claimed.

More claims about the Prime Minister’s private life from the former Conservative party treasurer’s unauthorised biography, co-written with journalist Isabel Oakeshott, were published in the Daily Mail on Tuesday.

These excerpts described the gatherings of wealthy elite members of the Chipping Norton set, including the Camerons, Brooks, Jeremy Clarkson and reports of their weekends in the Cotswolds together.

Excerpts published on Monday detailed extraordinary allegations about Mr Cameron’s time at Oxford University, including the lurid claim that the Prime Minister had inserted his genitals into the mouth of a dead pig during a bizarre initiation ceremony for the Piers Gaveston society.

Lord Ashcroft’s biography claims the Camerons were close friends with Brooks and her husband Charlie, and would go for dinners and horse riding trips together.

However, the book claims Mr Cameron turned his back on Brooks and Charlie when they were arrested on phone hacking charges. Brooks, the former editor of The Sun and the News of the World, was cleared of all charges relating to the hacking the scandal and returned to her former job as chief executive of News International in September. Her husband was also cleared of all charges.

Rebekah Brooks

An extract reads: “Yet from the moment she and her husband were arrested, the Prime Minister deserted them, terrified of the political implications of being seen in their company. She expected and needed his support — or at least his silence. Instead, he threw her to the wolves, saying if he were in charge of News International, he would have accepted her resignation.

“Cameron’s betrayal was devastating. Samantha tried to soften the blow by sending conciliatory messages through intermediaries in a shop in Chipping Norton — but for a long period, Brooks was deeply angry.

“Although Samantha invited the couple to her birthday party at Chequers last year, they didn’t feel it would be right to accept. Torn apart by the phone-hacking saga and the divorce of several of its leading lights (Elisabeth Murdoch and Matthew Freud; Jeremy Clarkson and wife Frances), the Chipping Norton set last year came up with an ironic new name: ‘The Upset’.”

Lord Ashcroft makes clear in the book his own “beef” with Mr Cameron, after he was overlooked for a position in Mr Cameron's cabinet in 2010. He has denied suggestions that his book is a way of "settling scores" after this.

A spokesperson for Downing Street told The Independent: "We are not commenting on the book at all."