Government spin doctor Andy Coulson set for Downing Street exit

Former New of the World editor and now coalition government director of communications Andy Coulson is a step nearer the exit from No 10 Downing Street as he has been interviewed by police (as a witness, not a suspect) about the phone hacking that took place under his editorship of the News Corporation-owned UK tabloid.

We don’t know what he said to the boys in blue of course, or indeed what they said to him – the Metropolitan Police’s attitude to the NoW has always been, I’ll scratch your back if you’ll carry on scratching mine.

But nobody outside Coulson himself (according to his public statements anyway) and his boss PM David Cameron really believes that he wasn’t fully aware of the phone hacking activities that led to NoW royal correspondent Clive Goodman and his legman private eye Glenn Mulcaire being jailed in 2007.

Goodman and Mulcaire are both out of the slammer now of course and if they were put under oath would have to testify about what really happened at the NoW and what Coulson knew about it, despite their non-disclosure deals with News.

For some reason or other the Met doesn’t seem very keen to do this.

But the odds must still be that Coulson will be on his way pretty soon, admitting to nothing but wishing to save his bosses from embarrassment.

That will be a big blow for Cameron, already in the dock over hiring a personal photographer and film-maker on government money, and also News Corporation.

As for Coulson, you feel rather sorry for him. He was only playing by what he saw as the rules at the News of the World.

But there’s one law for the bosses and another for the workers. As he’s about to find out.

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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.

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