George Osborne: Caught in new drugs scandal
Last night the 34-year-old MP, who is leadership hopeful David Cameron's campaign manager, admitted knowing the vice girl but flatly denied that a white powder visible in front of them was cocaine. Mr Osborne insisted he was the victim of a smear campaign aimed at discrediting Mr Cameron's leadership bid.
The young front-runner has been at the centre of increasing speculation after he refused to say whether he has ever taken drugs. However the picture of a 22-year-old Mr Osborne could damage his friend's hopes of succeeding Michael Howard.
An exclusive poll for The Mail on Sunday today reveals that Tory voters would still want Mr Cameron to lead the party even if it did emerge that he had taken hard drugs.
In fact, the BPIX survey shows he is the only one of the four leadership candidates who could cut Labour's lead and give the Tories a chance of winning the next General Election.
The poll found a two-to-one majority of Tory supporters think that taking Class A drugs should not take any candidates out of the race; and a majority of Conservatives believe Mr Cameron does not need to say if he has ever taken drugs.
The picture, published in two Sunday newspapers, shows Mr Osborne smoking a cigarette with his arm draped around prostitute Natalie Rowe, who apparently specialises in sado-masochism.
It is understood Rowe, now 42, claims cocaine is just visible in the picture, taken at a party, although the image is unclear. She also says the photograph shows rolled papers - the remnants of a night of cocainesnorting. However, Mr Osborne was last night unequivocal in his denials that he had taken drugs with Rowe.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-365547/Cameron-campaign-chief-cocaine-pictures.html#ixzz1XwSKEt2A