News International

Kiran Stacey

Andy Coulson, former head of communications to David Cameron in Number 10, has been arrested for phone hacking and corruption. This came less than an hour after a press conference at which David Cameron came close to calling for Rebekah Brooks’ resignation.

Andy Coulson

Andy Coulson (c) Getty Images

11.56: We’re going to shut down the live blog now, but keep an eye on the FT website for regular updates on this story throughout the day. Here is a final roundup of today’s events:

  • Andy Coulson, the former head of communications to David Cameron, has been arrested on charges of phone hacking and corruption.
  • David Cameron has defended his decision to appoint Coulson, saying he wanted to give him a second chance.
  • But Cameron came close to calling for the head of Rebekah Brooks, News International’s chief executive, saying if he had been offered her resignation he would have taken it.
  • There will be two public enquiries into phone hacking: one led by a judge looking at specific allegations of hacking; the other at wider media ethics.
  • The second, broader enquiry will look at a replacement for the Press Complaints Commission, marking an effective end to the PCC.

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Kiran Stacey

I wrote yesterday that David Cameron and the Tories in general are finding themselves on the wrong side of public opinion over phone hacking. Some think it is far worse than that.

Peter Oborne has written columns in both the Spectator and the Telegraph today ripping into Cameron and his government for their ties to News International. In a piece for The Telegraph headlined David Cameron is in the sewer because of his News International friends, Oborne says phone hacking will be as damaging for Cameron as Iraq was for Tony Blair. He says:

David Cameron, who has returned from Afghanistan as a profoundly damaged figure, now faces exactly such a crisis. The series of disgusting revelations concerning his friends and associates from Rupert Murdoch’s News International has permanently and irrevocably damaged his reputation.

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Jim Pickard

The Guardian yesterday ran a fascinating story on their front page about how Sir Gus O’Donnell, head of the civil service, had “blocked” an attempt by Gordon Brown to hold a judicial review into phone hacking. We followed up the story on ft.com this morning.

Here are a few extra details which did not make the final cut and may be of interest: Read more

News International, the publisher of the News of the World, has admitted liability in eight cases relating to the phone hacking scandal and offered an “unreserved apology”. Read more