Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/01/26/blairs_secret_emails/

Downing Street denies secret email network

You've got Lordship

By John Oates

Posted in Policy, 26th January 2007 10:51 GMT

10 Downing Street has denied allegations that it ran a second, secret email system which contained evidence of taking cash in exchange for honours.

According to ITV News, police were told of the emails between political advisor Ruth Turner, who was questioned by police last week, Lord Levy, and Blair's chief of staff Jonathan Powell. Emails supposedly included references to "Ks" and "Ps" for knighthoods and peerages.

The existence of a second network was apparently revealed to police by a witness.

The existence of a "secret" email network will prompt some degree of beard stroking in government IT circles, not least because many in civil service find it hard to believe number 10 is capable of inspiring a functioning public comms system, never mind an off the books system.

Police are investigating allegations that peerages and other honours were exchanged for cash donations and loans to the Labour Party. Members of other political parties have also been questioned.

No one has yet been charged. Police are expected to report to the Crown Prosecution Service by the end of the month.

ITV is quoting an anonymous source this morning saying it is unlikely anyone will face charges over the affair. ®