Wind of scandal sweeps British elite’s rural haven – Yahoo! News
Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of Rupert, and her husband Matthew Freud, head of an influential public relations firm, are also members of the set even though Clarkson has joked that to residents of Chipping Norton, the Freuds’ multi-million-pound home in Burford, a few miles away, “is basically France”.
The British media have also endlessly retold the tale of a 2010 Christmas party hosted by the Brooks and attended by Clarkson, the Camerons and James Murdoch, son of Rupert and then chairman of News International.
At the time, it was controversial because the government was considering News Corp’s bid to take over the broadcaster BSkyB. Since then, the bid has been dropped, a casualty of the phone-hacking scandal.
Evidence is mounting that many of Cameron’s own Conservative allies are unimpressed by the antics of the Chipping Norton set.
“It’s all about lifestyle and power. Politically it’s completely vacuous. It doesn’t do him much credit,” said one Conservative member of parliament, who did not wish to be named for fear of damaging his career prospects.
Back in quiet Chipping Norton, these debates were like the distant rumble of thunder when the sky overhead is blue.