Andy Coulson Received Large Payments from News Corp While David Cameron's Spokesman (Report)
LONDON – British Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to hire Andy Coulson, former editor of News of The World and one of the key players at the center of the phone-hacking scandal currently swirling, is in the spotlight again.
Media reports from the BBC and The Guardian newspaper claim Coulson received “several hundred thousand pounds” from his former employer News International, News Corp.’s newspaper publishing subsidiary, after he was appointed by Cameron as his director of communications.
The payments came in 2007 and were made after Coulson resigned as editor of the News Of The World in January of that year.
Cameron and Coulson are currently at the heart of the media, social and political storm surrounding phone hacking and the relationship between News International, the police in the U.K. and Rupert and son James Murdoch’s involvement in the scandal.
The BBC's business editor Robert Peston reports Coulson received cash payments and said the timings mean he got them after he exited News International and joined the government machine in July 2007.
That said, the alleged payments – stemming from News International’s reported agreement to honor Coulson’s remaining two-year contract with the now shuttered newspaper – came before Cameron became prime minister here.
Coulson was asked by the Commons culture, media and sport committee in 2009 whether he had received a payment from the company. He told MPs it was a private matter.