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British PM's aide embroiled in child abuse scandal

March 04, 2014 18:59 IST

A senior aide to British Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned after being arrested on suspicion of child pornography offences.

Patrick Rock, who had been involved in drawing up proposals for internet porn filters, resigned as the deputy head of the policy unit after being questioned by police in February, Downing Street said on Monday.

Following the 62-year-old's arrest on February 13, it was "arranged for officers to come into Number 10 (to) have access to all IT systems and offices they considered relevant," a spokesperson for the Prime Minister's Office said.

"The prime minister was immediately informed and kept updated throughout. This is an ongoing investigation so it would not be appropriate to comment further, but the prime
minister believes that child abuse imagery is abhorrent and anyone involved with it should be properly dealt with under the law," he said.

Rock was involved in preparations for a summit last year, while working with the National Crime Agency, at which leading companies agreed to make it as difficult as possible to find images of abuse on their search engines.

He has been an adviser to the Conservative party for 30 years and got to know Cameron in the mid-1990s.

Cameron brought him into Downing Street in 2011 to work in the Number 10 policy unit and he took responsibility for issues related to home affairs.

The Number 10 policy unit is a body of policymakers in 10 Downing Street in the British government.

"Patrick Rock was one of a number of advisers and officials involved in dealing with this (internet filters) issue but the work was led by somebody else, and decisions were taken by ministers," a Downing Street spokesperson stressed.

Aditi Khanna In London
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