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Lord Sewel, smoking, as seen from below. The Sun on Sunday is clearly anxious to confirm its ownership of this inoffensive photograph - along with more incendiary evidence against the formerly-Labour peer. But was its release timed to damp down public reaction to allegations about late Conservatives?

Lord Sewel, smoking, as seen from below. The Sun on Sunday is clearly anxious to confirm its ownership of this inoffensive photograph – along with more incendiary evidence against the formerly-Labour peer. But was its release timed to damp down public reaction to allegations about late Conservatives?

Isn’t it convenient for the Conservative Party that the ‘drugs and prostitutes’ allegations against a former Labour peer have been made so soon after four of their own were implicated in child sexual abuse?

A matter of days after ‘lost’ Cabinet Office files relating to the activities of late Conservative politicians Leon Brittan, Sir Peter Hayman, Sir William van Straubenzee and Sir Peter Morrison became public, the Conservative Party-supporting Sun newspaper released photographs and footage, allegedly showing Lord Sewel taking drugs with prostitutes.

An update today (July 27) appears to show him making disparaging remarks about other politicians – although his alleged descriptions of David Cameron as “the most facile, superficial prime minister there’s ever been”, and Boris Johnson as “a joke” seem more likely to win him support than disapproval.

Coincidence?

Of course, it’s possible – and we should not ignore that.

But it is also possible that The Sun may have been holding the evidence, or may have been given it, to try to control damage to the Conservative Party that will be caused by the child sexual abuse allegations.

We know, for example, that the Conservative whip’s office has held information on criminal activities by that party’s MPs, and used it to ensure their loyalty to party policy.

Who knows how many other organisations run a so-called ‘dirt book’?

Considering the opportunities available, it seems obvious that a newspaper like The Sun would have one.

What a shame that such behaviour has nothing to do with bringing criminals to justice and everything to do with blackmail or political advantage.

David Cameron ordered that the Conservative whips’ ‘dirt book’ should be made available to the investigation against historic child sex abuse in January. Nobody seems to have paid any attention to the fact that the mere existence of this book criminalises Cameron’s party as accessory to an undisclosed number of crimes.

The legal reference is in R v J.F.Alford Transport Ltd (1997) 2 Cr. App. R. 326. It was held a reasonable inference that a company, knowing that its employees are acting illegally and deliberately doing nothing to prevent it from being repeated, actually intends to encourage the repetition. This will be a natural inference in any situation where the alleged accessory has the right to control what the principal is doing. We may, therefore, infer this in the case of the Conservative Party.

Isn’t it time all political organisations and national media were ordered to deal up their own ‘dirt books’ – or had them taken away forcibly by the police?

It isn’t good enough that allegations such as those against Lord Sewel are allowed to dribble out when it creates an advantage for their political opponents.

If evidence is held that shows criminal behaviour by the so-called “great and the good”, then let’s get it out into the open now – and clear the filth from both the Green and Red Benches.

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