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Andy Coulson guilty of phone hacking: David Cameron 'took a criminal' into No 10, say Labour

By Andrew Woodcock

Prime Minister David Cameron offered an "unreserved" apology for employing Andy Coulson at 10 Downing Street, after his former director of communications was found guilty of phone hacking.

In a televised apology, echoed later by Chancellor George Osborne, Mr Cameron said he took "full responsibility" for employing the former News of the World editor and was "profoundly sorry" that assurances he was given about Coulson's past during his job interview had now turned out to be false.

But Labour leader Ed Miliband said that the apology did not go far enough, and that the Prime Minister had "very serious questions to answer" about why he stuck by Coulson long after serious allegations about him had become public.

Mr Cameron had "brought a criminal into the heart of Downing Street" and his Government was "tainted" as a result," said Mr Miliband, who accused the Prime Minister of putting his relationship with press tycoon and News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch ahead of the public interest.

Mr Cameron acknowledged that people would be "concerned" at Coulson having worked for him both as leader of the opposition and Prime Minister, but stressed that there had been no complaints about his work at No10.

The Prime Minister said that both he and chief of staff Ed Llewellyn asked the former tabloid editor whether he knew about phone hacking before he was hired, and were assured that he did not.

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