Damian McBride resigned as Brown’s top strategist this week after an email exchange between himself and Draper was made public.
Draper has said his Yahoo account must have been hacked in to. A source close to Draper claimed there were ‘three or four examples’ of other recent stories that could only have come from hacking in to Draper’s email account, which he has held for more than ten years.
In particular, Labour sources pointed to a story that recently appeared in Private Eye – and subsequently on the Guido Fawkes blog - about Draper and New Statesman political editor James Macintyre.
The initial story revealed that Draper had advised cabinet minister Ed Miliband not to hire Macintyre as a special adviser. The follow-up on the Guido Fawkes blog stated that ‘when Macintyre found out about Draper’s treachery, he called Dolly pure f***ing evil’
Macintyre himself told PRWeek the story – and specifically the quote attributed to him - could only have come from somebody obtaining the emails he sent to Draper. He said: ‘I’m pretty convinced Draper is telling the truth when he says his Yahoo account was hacked into. Part of why am convinced is that days after an email exchange between Draper and me a story appeared, including on Guido, which could only have come from that exchange.’
There is no suggestion that Paul Staines, who runs the Guido Fawkes blog, hacked in to Draper’s account himself. Staines has insisted that he obtained the emails sent between McBride and Draper via proper journalistic methods.
However, it is feared that the individual behind the hacking may be sitting on hundreds or thousands of emails – potentially dating back years – that could be used to destabilise the Government in the run up to the next election.