Tom Watson MP, Labour’s Deputy Chair, has written to David Cameron following a report in the Mail on Sunday on “How Number 10 misled MoS about Cameron and that police horse”.
Tom Watson said:
“If these reports are true it would be a sign of, at worst, a culture of dishonesty developing in Downing Street or, at best, a failure by yourself to ensure the highest standards of integrity are maintained by your staff. In either case, how do you propose to address this?”
Full text of the letter from Tom Watson to David Cameron below:
5 March 2012
Dear Mr Cameron,
Following the persistent questioning by Mr Christopher Hope of the Daily Telegraph last week, you have admitted to frequently riding the Metropolitan police horse, Raisa, with the husband of Rebekah Brooks. Yesterday, the Mail on Sunday claimed journalists were misled when they put similar questions to your press team last year.
I would be grateful if you could answer the following questions.
The Mail on Sunday claim they put a series of suggestions regarding horse riding in the company of Mr Brooks that were denied by Mr Andy Coulson. Did Mr Coulson discuss the matter with you before issuing the denial?
At what times last week did Downing Street staff raise the concerns of journalists with you?
What steps are you taking to establish whether the reports are true? You are on record as saying that, whilst working for you, Mr Coulson did "an excellent job in a proper, upright way at all times." If the investigation finds this claim is inaccurate, what steps are you taking to ensure that other potential incidents of wrongdoing are investigated?
If these reports are true it would be a sign of, at worst, a culture of dishonesty developing in Downing Street or, at best, a failure by yourself to ensure the highest standards of integrity are maintained by your staff. In either case, how do you propose to address this?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Member of Parliament for West Bromwich East