In recent weeks, British Prime Minister David Cameron has proved to be master of losing friends and alienating people, but even by his standards, news that Charlie Brooks is to run for UKIP will be a blow. The horse racing tycoon and husband of Rebekah Wade was once a close friend of the Prime Minister but the Daily Mail reports that relations have cooled.
Despite being so close to Cameron that they even allowed him to ride a retired Metropolitan Police Horse, the Brooks’ are reported to be unhappy with the Prime Ministers response to phone hacking allegations. So now that both of them have been found not guilty of any wrongdoing, Brooks plans to get his own back by running for UKIP.
The 51 year old former Etonian is believed to have already held discussions with Nigel Farage about running. One UKIP insider claimed “Farage confirmed that Brooks would be a candidate for a constituency in 2015.” It is unclear whether Brooks will run against Cameron himself, although it would make some sense as he has connections with Prime Minister’s Witney constituency.
Charlie is believed to have strong views on rural issues, and made an appearance as chairman of a debate at the CLA Game Fair at Blenheim Palace. Farage was on the panel of the debate which was entitled “would the countryside be better off if we left the EU?” The UKIP leader is said to have impressed the audience, and perhaps Brooks too.
Last month Charlie Brooks was cleared of allegations that he attempted to hide evidence of phone hacking. At the same time, Rebekah was also cleared of any involvement with or knowledge of phone hacking when she was editor of the News of the World. Her former lover, who went on to become the Prime Minister’s Director or Communications, Andy Coulson was found guilty.
After the trial Charlie said, with some understatement, that he was “disappointed” with Cameron’s response to the allegations against Rebekah. At the time, Cameron had said that he would have accepted her resignation as CEO of News International had he been her boss, a reference to the fact she twice offered to fall on her sword as a result of the allegations.
In 2009, Cameron attended the Charlie and Rebakah’s wedding but his comments have now led to another ally falling by the wayside. News of the falling-out comes just a few weeks after Cameron’s cabinet reshuffle that has badly alienated large swathes of his own backbench.
The sacking of Damian Green as Police Minister ensured the left of the party were unhappy, whereas the sacking of Owen Paterson as Environment Secretary angered the right. It is now understood that the left will no-longer protect Cameron from the right-wing factions that are angry with his stance of issues such as gay marriage.