Andy Coulson quits Downing Street

Former News of the World editor, Andy Coulson, has resigned from his communications role in Downing Street due to pressure over stories released about phone hacking whilst he was in charge of the Sunday newspaper

Former News of the World editor, Andy Coulson, has resigned from his communications role in Downing Street due to pressure over stories released about phone hacking whilst he was in charge of the Sunday newspaper.

It’s a case that’s attracted enormous media attention since the claims were first made back in 2007 with big names from the world of entertainment, sports and politics taking legal action against the paper.

Just last month, actress Sienna Miller lodged papers in the High Court to sue for breach of privacy.

Other famous faces whose phones were hacked include Elle Macpherson, George Michael, Gwyneth Paltrow, Steve Coogan and Heather Mills and it’s thought that Tessa Jowell, Max Clifford, Sol Campbell and Boris Johnson have also been victims.

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The former royal editor at News of the World, Clive Goodman, was jailed in 2007 for conspiracy to access phone messages. Andy Coulson resigned as editor, accepting full responsibility for the scandal but denied any knowledge of phone hacking.

In a statement today, Coulson said the constant coverage had made it difficult for him to fulfill his communications role but maintained: ‘It has been a privilege and an honour to work for David Cameron for three-and-a-half years.

‘Unfortunately, continued coverage of events connected to my old job at the News of the World has made it difficult for me to give the 110% needed in this role.’

Last week, Cameron defended Coulson, insisting that he was doing a good job and should not be punished twice.

‘He’s extremely embarrassed by the endless publicity and speculation about what happened many years ago when he was editor of the News of the World,’ he said.

Renewed newspaper investigations into the scale of phone hacking at the Sunday paper has put pressure on Coulson, with police interviewing him as a witness to the scandal in November.

Throughout the ordeal, Coulson has maintained: ‘I stand by what I’ve said about those events, but when the spokesman needs a spokesman, it’s time to move on.’

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