Chancellor regrets taking on Andy Coulson as spin doctor

Steve Dinneen
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CHANCELLOR George Osborne yesterday said he regrets the appointment of Andy Coulson as the Number 10 communications chief.

Former News of the World editor Coulson’s role in the government has come under intense scrutiny since his arrest as part of the phone hacking scandal. Osborne was singled out by former News International boss Rebekah Brooks as the man behind the appointment.

Osborne said yesterday: “I repeat the words of the Prime Minister, knowing what we know now we regret the decision and I suspect that Andy Coulson would not have taken the job.”

Meanwhile, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns seven per cent of News Corp, has backed the firm’s controversial share structure, which gives the Murdoch family preferential voting rights.

Murdoch (pictured) also sold his stake in Russian advertising company News Outdoor to a consortium of buyers for a reported £166m.