Mandrake: David Cameron vanishes as Brexit turns nasty

PUBLISHED: 19:00 18 May 2018

Prime Minister David Cameron waves after making his keynote speech on the final day of the Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central in Manchester.

Prime Minister David Cameron waves after making his keynote speech on the final day of the Conservative Party Conference at Manchester Central in Manchester.

PA Archive/PA Images

Mandrake discusses the deliberate disappearance of the former Prime Minister as the public debate around Brexit sours.

Anxious about his safety as public anger about Brexit grows, David Cameron – who decided to hold the EU referendum – has more or less gone into hiding.

“He sees this as a difficult year and has battened down the hatches,” a close associate of the former prime minister admits to Mandrake. “He’s put back the publication of his autobiography until next year as the last thing he wants to do right now is any promotional tours. He’s also seen to it that no contact addresses or telephone numbers for him are publicly available. His website has been under construction now for a very long time and is likely to remain so.”

Shortly after leaving Downing Street and quitting as an MP, Cameron, set up a private company called The Office of David Cameron Ltd and listed Laurence Mann, his former political secretary, as its director.

When I managed to track down Mann, he confirmed that Cameron was intentionally keeping a low profile. “He is really not making public interventions until his book is published, likely next year,” he said.

Mann, who picked up a CBE during Cameron’s time in office, is the last of the old guard still to be in the bunker with him. He witnessed a new mortgage that the Camerons took out on their £3.5 million Notting Hill townhouse just days before the EU referendum. Earlier this year, he accompanied his boss on a controversial trip to Bahrain for a meeting with Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa.

Fresh eyes

Although there has been no discernible outbreak of sanity at the Daily Telegraph when it comes to Brexit, Mandrake hears that Nick Hugh – its new chief executive in succession to Murdoch MacLennan – is less rabidly wedded to the policy.

“He is not just another pointy head from Yahoo,” one of its toilers tells Mandrake. “He reads the Economist, has liberal political views and is well aware that the Telegraph has been haemorrhaging readers to the Times, which is, of course, a Remain-supporting newspaper.”

Although rumours that the newspaper might be about to change its editorial position on Brexit are wide of the mark – sadly, its sometime contributor Boris Johnson has the direct telephone number of its owner, Sir David Barclay, who adores him – I am told to expect “a kinder, gentler” approach to the issue in the newspaper in the months 
ahead.

The quiet man

No names, no pack-drill, but the questions Mandrake publicly asked John Humphrys about how much money he makes each year writing for the pro-Brexit Daily Mail – and how many times he’s gone to watch rugby matches at Twickenham with its editor, Paul Dacre – has created quite a rumpus on the Today programme.

“Let’s just say there have been discussions about it and attempts have been made to persuade John to talk to you,” says my source. “John is stubborn, however. He has said he doesn’t see how it’s anyone’s business.”

When I wrote on Twitter “Retweet please if you no longer have confidence in John Humphrys to report impartially on Brexit on the Today programme,” an astonishing 10,000 people did so – or ‘liked’ the Tweet – within a couple of days.

In the money

A number of prominent Brextremists – including Sir David Barclay, James Dyson and Lord Bamford – saw their personal fortunes going up in the latest Sunday Times Rich List.

Andrea Leadsom is scarcely in their league, but her property firm Bandal – which she attempted to distance herself from a few years ago after its controversial use of offshore banking – is doing very nicely, thank you.

New accounts reveal that the business, still 75% or more owned and controlled by husband Ben, has more than doubled its net worth.

As of August 2017, it has £3.5 million worth of properties – that’s £800,000 more than reported in its 2016 accounts. In 2015, the year after Leadsom quit, it held £1.6 million worth of property.

In 2005, 24% of the shares in the company were transferred to two trusts set up for the benefit of the couple’s children, as a way of avoiding inheritance tax.

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £13

Support The New European's vital role as a voice for the 48%

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

  • Become a friend of The New European for a contribution of £48. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish)
  • Become a partner of The New European for a contribution of £240. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook
  • Become a patron of The New European for a contribution of £480. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook and an A3 print of The New European front cover of your choice, signed by Editor Matt Kelly

By proceeding, you agree to the New Europeans supporters club Terms & Conditions which can be found here.



Supporter Options

Mention Me in The New European



If Yes, Name to appear in The New European



Latest Articles

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Grassroots anti-Brexit campaigners are increasing the pressure on politicians ahead of a series of important votes this year. Here is a list of the events organised across Britain in the coming weeks and months.

Trending

Newsletter Sign Up

The New European weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy