Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Labour question Cameron's judgement

Labour have raised questions over David Cameron's judgment in holding on to his director of communications after it emerged that he had been questioned by police investigating allegations of phone-hacking at the News of the World.

Downing Street confirmed that Andy Coulson attended a meeting with Metropolitan Police officers voluntarily on Thursday and was interviewed as a witness. He was not cautioned or arrested.

But Labour's deputy leader, Harriet Harman, said there were question marks over him and that it was time for the Prime Minister to take them seriously.

"The continued presence of Andy Coulson as director of communications at Number 10 when question marks hang over him casts doubt over David Cameron's judgment," said Ms Harman. It is time he took this matter seriously."

Mr Coulson was editor of the News of the World at the time when one of its reporters was jailed for conspiracy to access phone messages involving Princes William and Harry, but has always insisted he did not know about or authorise the activity.

A Metropolitan Police inquiry was revived earlier this year following an investigation by the New York Times which alleged that the practice was more widespread at the Sunday paper than previously admitted.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "Andy Coulson voluntarily attended a meeting with Metropolitan Police officers on Thursday morning at a solicitor's office in London. Mr Coulson - who first offered to meet the police two months ago - was interviewed as a witness and was not cautioned or arrested."

Scotland Yard said in a statement: "We do not discuss persons interviewed as potential witnesses."

Labour MP and former minister Chris Bryant - who believes he was one of those targeted for eavesdropping - said he thought it was "inconceivable" that Mr Coulson did not know what was being done by reporters under his command.

Mr Bryant told the BBC: "I think it is inconceivable that Andy Coulson would not have known anything about this, which is why I think it is very bizarre that David Cameron has not only employed him as leader of the Conservative Party but also taken him to Downing Street and made the taxpayer pay for him. I think Andy Coulson will end up going. I think he will have to go in the end."

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph