CONSERVATIVE party director of communications Andy Coulson is likely to face a grilling by the Commons culture committee, as it investigates alleged phone-bugging by The News of The World (NoW) during the time that he was the newspaper’s editor.
The investigation follows allegations made by the Guardian newspaper that Rupert Murdochs’ tabloid title paid up to £1m to settle cases with individuals whose privacy was violated.
The Crown Prosecution Service said it would”urgently review” the News of the World case but the Metropolitan Police ruled out a new investigation.
It was claimed that former News International chairman Les Hinton knew more than he admitted regarding an earlier phone-hacking case, which saw NoW royal editor Clive Goodman jailed in 2006 for obtaining information illegally.
“Once we have spoken to the Guardian and to Hinton, we will want to speak to other members of News International. It is likely that Coulson will be one of those people,” MP and Commons culture committee chairman John Whittingdale told City A.M.
Coulson, NoW editor at the time, resigned after Goodman’s conviction. MPs were yesterday calling for his resignation, but Tory leader David Cameron defended his head of press, saying he believed in “giving people a second chance”.