A former aide to David Cameron accused of making indecent images of children failed to appear in court after falling ill.
Patrick Rock, 63, is charged with three offences of making the pictures and one offence of possession of 59 indecent images of children.
He was due to enter pleas to the charges at Southwark Crown Court but the hearing was adjourned until 19 December.
Sasha Wass QC, for Rock, said: “The court has excused Mr Rock and I am very grateful. He was very anxious not to be perceived as unwilling to attend in any way.”
Judge Alistair McCreath announced Rock had been taken ill ‘suddenly’ overnight.
Rock was arrested at his London home on February 13 on suspicion of possession of child abuse images and charged on June 27.
The images have been assessed by Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) officers and CPS lawyers as meeting the definition of level C – the lowest category.
Officers from the National Crime Agency – known as Britain’s FBI
– were called in by No.10 to search his office and computers in Downing Street as part of their investigation.
The arrest was not made public until details were published in a newspaper three weeks later.
Rock failed to win a seat in Parliament on three separate occasions in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
He was deputy head of David Cameron’s policy unit at the time of his arrest and they have known each other since the late 1990s.
He has not yet entered any pleas and was bailed until December 19.