Cameron defends Andy Coulson – but says no one is ‘unsackable’
David Cameron last night said that nobody on his team was unsackable, as he faced questions about his communications director, Andy Coulson, as the phone hacking scandal continues to hound the former News of the World editor.
The prime minister defended Coulson in a Channel 4 News interview as his comms chief faces allegations that he knew about illegal phone hacking during his time as editor of the News of the World.
When asked by Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow whether Coulson was unsackable, Cameron replied: “No one is unsackable. But … we haven’t had one single complaint about how he has done his job, or indeed about how the Downing Street press office has done its job. That is quite a contrast from the years of [Labour's director of communications] Alastair Campbell and [special adviser] Damian McBride and all the rest of them.”
The interview with Cameron at Conservative Party conference followed Channel 4 Dispatches programme on Monday night, which carried allegations that Coulson listened to the intercepted voicemail messages of public figures.
If that is the case and Coulson is not unsackable then maybe Cameron should clean house. More on The Guardian
Cameron’s comments come as a second News of the World journalist, former features editor Gordon McMullan, admitted hacking bank and medical records as well as mobile phone messages.
McMullan joins Sean Hoare who was the source for the New York Times article that reopened the phone hacking case.
Speaking at City University last night, McMullan said he “hacked into mobile phones, bank accounts and medical records” while working at the paper between 1998 and 2001.
It was during this time that Andy Coulson was deputy editor and suggests that the phone hacking was rife at the paper.
“Privacy is the place where people do bad things. It is where they hide their misdemeanours and embarrassments – the things they don’t want their wives to find out about,” McMullan said.
“I was investigating gun trafficking and people trafficking, it was in the public interest.”