New Times,
New Thinking.

6 September 2010

Andy Coulson: David Cameron’s challenge

Prime Minister should "cut him loose", some MPs believe

By James Macintyre

The Conservative leadership is hoping that the news that David Cameron’s Director of Communications Andy Coulson has told police he is willing to speak to them about phone tapping allegations at the News of the World, the paper Coulson edited, will lance the boil of this damaging story.

They may be wrong. The view in Westminster is that Coulson may be gone within weeks. Doubtless, there was a time when he seemed a good choice, recommended by William Hague, as a kind of tough Alastair Campbell figure. He is certainly supported by the Tory right, having urged Cameron at several key moments in the past couple of years to shore up the “core vote”. But some Liberal Democrat MPs and peers — among whom there is a constant, agonised debate about how much they should be flexing their muscles in this coalition — are privately hoping he falls.

Today, the Prime Minister’s spokesman is saying Cameron has “full confidence” in Coulson. But he stopped short of making it clear that Cameron “believes” Coulson’s claim that he knew nothing of the phone tapping.

One senior Lib Dem said: “Whether Cameron cuts Coulson loose is now his biggest test.” That may or may not be true. But with the New York Times, the police and belatedly the non-Murdoch British press now on the case, this story is not going away.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Content from our partners
An innovative approach to regional equity
ADHD in the criminal justice system: a case for change – with Takeda
The power of place in tackling climate change