Picture 3 Many congratulations to Guido Fawkes.

The Prime Minister has apparently said that there is no place in politics for dissemination or publication of material of this kind but he has presided over a staff team long associated with these smear tactics.  We'll get the grisly details in the Sunday newspapers and they will be grisly.

Derek Draper was just on Sky News trying to suggest that (alleged) hacking into his email system is the real issue.  He is defending McBride as a good servant of the Labour Party.  Extraordinary.

Tim Montgomerie

6.30pm update: Damian McBride has released the following resignation statement:

"I am shocked and appalled that, however they were obtained, these e-mails have been put into the public domain by Paul Staines. When
Derek Draper originally suggested using a website to compete with the
kind of material seen regularly on the Guido Fawkes blog, he asked me
in a personal capacity to write up some of the stories doing the rounds
in Westminster.

"Derek and I decided in the end that this
website was the wrong thing to do, and that Derek should not take his
online efforts down to the level of Guido Fawkes and his Tory backers. I
have already apologised for the inappropriate and juvenile content of
my e-mails, and the offence they have caused, but I did not want these
stories in the public domain – it is because Paul Staines has put them
there, and I am sickened that he has done so.

"However, we
all know that when a backroom adviser becomes the story, their position
becomes untenable, so I have willingly offered my resignation. It
has been an absolute privilege to work for Gordon Brown and the Labour
government in the Treasury and in Downing Street, they will always have
my full support, and I regret any embarrassment I have caused them."

What is remarkable is that his prime concern appears to be that the emails reached the public domain, rather than concentrating on a showing a little contrition for the fact that they were written in the first place.

Jonathan Isaby

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