Children across the world had their world shaken today when the Leveson enquiry into phone hacking saw Father Christmas taken into custody by Northumbria Police.
Exact details are not known at this time, however it is understood that the arrest took place at Santa’s Magical Christmas Grotto in The Mall Shopping Centre, Middlesbrough just before 9am this morning.
Santa’s elf was seen to struggle with police at the scene; Mr Christmas has been reported by one witness as shouting: “Leave it, Barry!” as he was led away in handcuffs. The elf has since been charged with assaulting a police officer and is currently being treated for minor injuries at James Cook University Hospital.
A Police spokesman said: “An individual was arrested earlier this morning and is currently assisting us with our enquiries. Owing to the sensitive nature of his identity we will not be releasing any more information at this time, suffice it to say that I’m really just the messenger here and this should in no way implicate me as naughty, Santa.”
Whilst many involved in the Leveson Enquiry have spoken off the record in defence of Mr Christmas – describing the allegations as hearsay or a politically motivated smear campaign – few could deny the impact of the arrest coming less than two weeks before Christmas Eve.
Allegations of phone hacking and police bribery are not new to the North Pole workshop where Father Christmas and his elves make the toys for all the children in the world but this is the first time the authorities have made an arrest. It is not known how this will affect the Christmas Eve delivery or if there is a contingency plan for such an event as the Yuletide incarceration of such a vital individual.
Britney Scaffold (9) from Linthorpe said, “I knew that Santa had to have a way of knowing if I was naughty or nice but I thought he used magic, like Jesus.”
Mrs Christmas could not be reached for comment.