Torrent of sleaze hits Cameron government, News of the World

UK coalition government prime minister David Cameron may need to find himself a new foreign secretary and a new director of communications over the weekend.

Foreign secretary William Hague, de facto deputy leader of the Tories and a former leader himself, is coming under fierce pressure for showing a “lack of judgement” over his relationship with 25-year old former special adviser Christopher Myers. Hague has admitted sharing a hotel room with Myers but says he’s not gay.

Director of communications Andy Coulson, a former editor of the News of the World who resigned in 2007 following the jailing of his royal correspondent Clive Goodman for phone hacking, is coming under increasing pressure as more revelations about the affair appear. Former Labour minister Chris Bryant and former Scotland Yard man Brian Paddick are leading calls for a judicial investigation in the affair, clearly not satisfied with Coulson’s statements that he knew nuffink about it.

There are others in the firing line too. The Metropolitan Police is being widely criticised for shutting down its investigation after Goodman and his supplier Glenn Mulcaire were jailed. Many of those whose phones were tapped, including at least a dozen MPs and members of the Royal Family and their circle, have not even been contacted by police.

Critics say this is because the Met has far too cosy a relationship with the NoW which often collaborates with it on investigations and generally lauds the boys in blue.

Piquantly the top cop who conducted the investigation was assistant commissioner John Yates, hardly Labour’s favourite as he conducted the investigation into the ‘cash for honours’ affair in the later part of Tony Blair’s administration. Blair himself was quizzed by Yates.

Scotland Yard says that it has no plans to re-open the investigation as no new evidence has come to light. It appears the world is awash with evidence so it may change its mind.

As for the NoW, it has suspended a further un-named hack and is hunkering down for a siege by its many enemies. This time, you feel, they really can scent blood.

As for David Cameron the congratulations and goodwill he enjoyed on the birth of his fourth child while on holiday recently in Cornwall must seem a long time ago.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.