Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Distress of Blair Aide 'Isolated by Harrowing Ordeal'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Distress of Blair Aide 'Isolated by Harrowing Ordeal'

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBERT MENDICK

THE Downing Street aide at the centre of the cash for peerages inquiry has been left isolated with nobody to turn to, her mother said today.

In her first interview, Marie Turner told of daughter Ruth's "harrowing" ordeal following her arrest, pleaded her innocence and complained about the number of leaks that have surrounded the near yearlong police investigation.

Her intervention comes as the spotlight in the inquiry turns on Ms Turner, 36, one of Tony Blair's most senior aides, and a meeting she had with Labour's chief fundraiser, Lord Levy, amid claims of a possible cover-up.

Mrs Turner, speaking from the home she shares with her husband in America, told the Standard: "It is unimaginable to think what she must be going through. She has nobody to talk to, absolutely nobody to talk to at all. As far as we know this is one of the stresses for her.

"We are at a great distance and she cannot talk to either of us. She cannot even discuss with her parents what is going on.

"That leaves her to carry a heavy stress on her shoulders alone. I presume you are never more alone than when you are sitting in a police station."

Asked if her daughter was innocent, she replied: "Doesn't any mother think her daughter is incapable of criminal activity?

"We just have to sit tight and wait and see what comes out of all this.

There just seem to be leaks and more leaks. I don't know who leaks but I just wish it wasn't happening. It is harrowing - that is the word for what is going on.

Ask your mum how she would feel if this was happening to you.

"It is enormously stressful, of course. She is above board, honest, and her integrity is beyond reproach."

Mrs Turner, who moved to Connecticut from Cambridge after her husband Denys became professor of divinity at Yale, spoke of her frustration at being so far from her daughter when she needed her most. Mrs Turner, who is in her sixties, added: "We can only communicate by phone and that is not always satisfactory. …

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