19 July 2011 4:08 PM

The psychic link between No 10 and the Yard

Downing Street has just released a fascinating email exchange between John Yates (formerly) of the Yard and Ed Llewellyn, David Cameron's chief of staff.

It comes after former assistant commissioner Mr Yates told the Commons home affairs committee he had offered to brief the Prime Minister on the scope of the phone hacking investigation in September 2010, but was turned down.

What caught my eye is that phone hacking is not mentioned at all in the emails - it relies on an unspoken understanding about "other matters".

It is worth noting that Number 10 say Ed Llewellyn's response was "discussed and agreed" by Jeremy Heywood, the Permanent Secretary (top civil servant) at Downing Street.

Here is the full (but brief) exchange:

10 September 2010: John Yates to Ed Llewellyn
Hope all well.
I am coming over to see the PM at 12.30 today regarding [redacted: national security] matters. I am very happy to have a conversation in the margins around the other matters that have caught my attention this week if you thought it would be useful.
Best wishes,

Response: 10 September 2010: Ed Llewellyn to John Yates
John -
Thanks - all well.
On the other matters that have caught your attention this week, assuming we are thinking of the same thing, I am sure you will understand that we will want to be able to be entirely clear, for your sake and ours, that we have not been in contact with you about this subject.
So I don't think it would really be appropriate for the PM, or anyone else at No 10, to discuss this issue with you, and would be grateful if it were not raised please.
But the PM looks forward to seeing you, with Peter Ricketts and Jonathan Evans, purely on [redacted: national security] matters at 1230.
With best wishes,

Craig Woodhouse
Follow me on Twitter @craigawoodhouse


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