On Saturday night, British newspaper the Daily Mail dropped a bombshell report that said Prime Minister David Cameron was dealing with the fallout of a secret love affair between two members of London’s political elite.
If the Mail is to be believed, Cameron was “stunned” by the news. “This revelation is dynamite,” one source told the Mail. “None of us could believe it when we first heard it.”
There’s a catch, however. The Mail didn’t reveal the name of the couples for “legal reasons” — this is the U.K., of course, home of the notorious press-silencing “super-injunction” law.
And so over the weekend, Britain’s media observers have spent a lot of time speculating about who the pair could be. Some Westminster insiders claim to know the answer:
If Dave knew it is awful, if he didn’t know, it is worse…
— Harry Cole (@MrHarryCole) June 1, 2013
For what it’s worth, Business Insider has heard two different sets of names from a number of people. Frankly, we have no idea if the names we’ve heard are true — both would be bombshells, though one would be more interesting to political wonks and the other would be a genuine jaw-dropper. We, of course, can’t publish these names as a) the same legal reasons the Mail describes and b) at least one set of names must be false (most likely both are false).
(Whether they are true or not, both stories are spreading online — with some creative Googling you can find both sets of names on some less-scrupulous websites.)
The Mail’s article leaves a large number of suspects. The pair are middle-aged, both married, and not serving in David Cameron’s cabinet, the upper echelons of British government. It is not clear if they are politicians themselves or how the affair would impact Cameron. The Prime Minister is said to have learned of the affair in the past couple of weeks, but when it happened, and how long it lasted, are not revealed, but the Mail does reveal that the affair is over.
With so little information, people have begun to get a little creative. Evaluating the silhouettes included in the Mail’s article, for example:
Working out affair participants from Mail’s sillhouettes dailym.ai/11fKBJV Going with Christoper Robin and the coastline of Guernsey.
— Simon Blackwell (@simonblackwell) June 2, 2013
There is the sinking feeling, however, that we will be disappointed by the big reveal. The deputy head of media for the Liberal Democrats has said he was “underwhelmed” by the names, and Peter Jukes, writing at the Daily Beast, argues that it may be retaliation from the Mail for Cameron’s harsh line on press freedom since the phone hacking scandal.
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