It was Dr Booth who resigned his PPS-ship for "kissing and cuddling" with his researcher, student journalist Emily Barr. And writing poems to her. (Sample: "You said you seduced me, he who is tall has further to fall and I fell, how I fell".) So what happened to John Whittingdale, former PPS to Mr Forth? "Sorry. We don't know," said the DFEE. "Er... I'll try and find out for you. Have you tried his personal office?" said the man from Conservative Central Office.
Finally, the cuttings library revealed the truth. He resigned in May after voting against Government plans to restrict large newspaper groups from bidding for television stations. So now you know.