Natalie Rowe with a happy (at the time) client (Copyright to this image is held by Natalie Rowe)
As has been well documented, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who even nowadays is prone to occasionally looking a little out of it during PMQs, made use of Ms Rowe’s services in his younger days, although most of the right-leaning press has been rather less keen to publicise this than, say, the angle of Jeremy Corbyn’s bowed head during the remembrance commemoration at the Cenotaph last month.
The first hint Ms Rowe’s story came in July, as she Tweeted “To all my followers and anyone else ... I'm going to SHAME #MSM into revealing ALL @JWhittingdale, if they stay silent you've got ME!” Something to do with John Whittingdale? The bloke holding the future of the BBC in his hands? It would seem so: “Come on John ..ready when you are! I HAVE THE PHOTOS”. What can Whitto have been up to?
By November, we got another hint from Ms Rowe: “Not sad about what I know to be the truth, but it’s the truth and a disgraceful one. I have the evidence #Whittingdale Pimps Hookers”. But no rush from the press to dish the dirt on the minister who was in the process of emasculating the hated BBC. Still, coincidences, eh? Then, earlier this month, we learnt of Rajan’s involvement. “@amolrajan HI THERE ! HAVING A NICE DAY?”
Ms Rowe was not a happy pundit: “TWITTER! The story is going to come out anyway, but know this ! This shit hole @amolrajan has the worst excuse for not outing a TORY, EVER!” Do go on. “AND! There is this Arse. THE EDITOR of the @Independent. Who is part of the @JWhittingdale cover up!” Amol Rajan had, by this time, blocked Ms Rowe on Twitter. What was all that about? Little by little, more teasers emerged.
And boy, was Natalie unhappy: “Can't WAIT for everyone to find out what this prat has to hide ! Disgrace to Journalism … Amol Rajan Editor of the @Independent (soon to be sacked) trying to please the Tories he's a Pathetic Ignoramus … Soon folks this Email from-Editor of @Independent namely #Amol will become more clear. #BBC #Whittingdale #Coverup”. The email confirms that Rajan has spiked an article.
Here’s the text: “I’m just not in the habit of giving sources guarantees that stories will appear … Nor can I get into explaining all editorial decisions that I make … All I can do is reassure you that, after close consideration, I decided not to run the story on editorial grounds”. So there was a story, and if Natalie Rowe’s Twitter timeline is any guide, it concerns John Whittingdale, and she clearly believes its spiking was, er, unexplained.