Revealed: The incredibly close links between Google and the politicians who refuse to step in to porn row
Both David Cameron and George Osborne have met with Google executives
Google boss Eric Schmidt is a trusted business advisor to Mr Cameron
By Sam Greenhill
PUBLISHED:22:39, 31 May 2013 | UPDATED:11:00, 1 June 2013
Google’s refusal to block grotesque child abuse websites is matched by the refusal of ministers to intervene.
But why is the Government so strangely reluctant to tackle the internet search company?
Google barely pays any tax and merrily snoops on Britons with its notorious Street View cars, so it is not as if ministers lack any provocation.
Close: There appears to be a number of links between internet giant Google and the Conservative government
Google has been allowed to carve itself a reputation as a big friendly giant of the corporate world, brimming with ethical compassion and coolness.
Gradually, the corporation’s ruthless streak is being exposed, but actually confronting the internet mammoth seems to be the last thing on the minds of ministers.
Violent online porn drove pervert to kill my Jane: Mother, 81, believes daughter would still be alive if internet giants had listened to her calls to ban sick websites
Cable leads calls for internet giant to proactively block vile child porn as research reveals one in six who watch it go on to abuse
By stunning coincidence, the cosy links between Google and the upper echelons of the Conservative Party could scarcely be more entangled.
On a beautiful summer’s day at a society wedding in Oxfordshire last year, the nexus was all too clearly illustrated.
David Cameron, accompanied by his wife Samantha and their daughter Florence, was among the congregation clapping enthusiastically outside a pretty Cotswold church.
Working relationship: Both Prime Minister David Cameron, left, and Chancellor George Osborne, right, have held meetings with Google executives
The bride was Naomi Gummer, 29, a senior Google executive with the brief of ‘public policy’.
She was previously a political adviser to Jeremy Hunt when he was Culture Secretary in charge of internet regulation – so he was in attendance too, resplendent in his morning suit.
The wedding guests quaffed champagne in the sunshine and congratulated proud father-of- the-bride Lord Chadlington, 70, who happens to be the president of Mr Cameron’s local constituency association.
He is also a PR adviser to the Conservative Party. But Miss Gummer is far from the most senior Google executive to bask in the collective adulation of the British Government.
Former employee: Rachel Whetstone, Google's top global spinner, was a Number 10 aide and was director of communications for Conservative leader Michael Howard. The pair are pictured together
Rachel Whetstone, Google’s top global spinner, is a former No 10 aide and was Michael Howard’s director of communications when he was Tory leader.
She is married to Steve Hilton, the T-shirt-wearing guru who is Mr Cameron’s close friend and former director of strategy at No 10.
The power couple are regarded as key members of the Notting Hill set of Conservatives who propelled Mr Cameron to Downing Street, and at one stage Miss Whetstone was known as their queen.
Meanwhile the Prime Minister is godfather to Miss Whetstone’s younger son, and Mr Hilton was godfather to Ivan Cameron, the late eldest child of David and Samantha.
The links do not end there, for Google has been assiduous at forging close ties at every level of Government.
It is not just a case of former government policy wonks exiting through Westminster’s ‘revolving door’ to Google – it works the other way too.
Amy Fisher was once Google’s PR chief for European affairs, but now she has bagged a job advising Justice Secretary Chris Grayling.
And nor is it just Conservative politicians to whom Google offers the bosom of friendship. Sarah Hunter, the internet giant’s head of public policy in the UK, is a former media adviser to Tony Blair.
And a lobbying veteran named D. J. Collins – a close friend of David Miliband and well-connected in New Labour circles – has in recent years been Google’s European director of communications.
Google spends a fortune on political lobbying, and politicians from all parties lap up the Google brand, delighted to be associated with its hip image.
Before becoming Prime Minister, Mr Cameron spoke to the annual Google Zeitgeist conference in 2006 and 2007.
Powerful: Google boss Eric Schmidt is a trusted member of David Cameron's council of business advisors
Since the 2010 election, Mr Cameron has met Google executives three times, while Chancellor George Osborne has held four meetings.
Culture minister Ed Vaizey has met the firm’s staff seven times, and universities minister David Willetts has held at least one meeting.
The symbiotic relationship was on show again last year when the Chancellor agreed to open Google Campus, a hi-tech centre in East London for start-up technology firms.
With Google’s chairman, Eric Schmidt, a trusted member of Mr Cameron’s council of business advisers, critics wonder if there is any chance the PM will take steps to rein in the internet giant.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2334163/Revealed-The-incredibly-close-links-Google-politicians-refuse-step-porn-row.html#ixzz2h7Bxd5lZ
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook