Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/01/08/tory_googly_arrest/

Top Tory strategist arrested in Brum

How do we counter-massage?

By John Oates

Posted in Government, 8th January 2010 11:56 GMT

David Cameron's top strategy adviser Steve Hilton was arrested last October after a row over a train ticket.

Hilton, married to Google's supremo of spin Rachel Whetstone, is the man behind Cameron's shifting image from glacier-visiting green through hug-a-hoodie luvvie to the supposed saviour of the NHS.

He was arrested and fined £80 while trying to board a train at Birmingham New Street last October following the Tory conference. He got into an argument with station staff after failing to produce a ticket quickly enough.

The police were called and Hilton began swearing, shouted "wanker", and was arrested. He was later given a penalty order and released.

The Tory party confirmed the story, revealed by Channel 4 news. The fine shouldn't break the bank - Hilton reportedly earns £276,000 a year.

Hilton, also known as Gollum, spent six months in Palo Alto when his partner Whetstone started work for Google. He is supposedly the inspiration for The Thick of It's jargon-spouting, jeans-wearing PR guru Stewart Pearson. The two were godparents to Cameron's son Ivan.

The Mirror has more on Gollum's cyclopathic tendencies here.