Coulson admitted in 2003 to paying the police

Video: Coulson admitted to culture select committee in 2003 that the News of the World paid the poli

The "revelation" by Robert Peston that Andy Coulson authorised payments to the police has set the Twittersphere alight. But just take a look at this video from a select committee hearing in 2003.

Rebekah Brooks admitted to the culture select committee: "We have paid the police in the past" (although she has since insisted that she has "no knowledge of specific cases"), while Coulson refused to contradict her statement and added that the payments were "within the law".

The key development is that News International has now hung Coulson out to dry and handed new email evidence to the police. But other than that, this isn't a new story.

As an aside, it's worth recalling that Coulson resigned (twice) because hacking occured under his watch. Who now doubts that Brooks must do the same?

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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The New Statesman Cover: The revenge of the left

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22 - 28 September issue
The revenge of the left