NEWS

David Cameron Defends the hiring of Andy Coulson

"I always think that the danger at the moment is that he is effectively being punished twice for the same offence. I gave him a second chance. I think that sometimes in life it is right to give someone a second chance."

9 Jul 2011, 01:47 AM

By: gop

British Prime Minister David Cameron was forced to explain on Friday why No. 10 ignored a warning before the general election that his communications chief, Andy Coulson, had employed a freelance private detective with a long track record.

Mr. Coulson has been sought by detectives from two inquiry teams who have questioned the former News of the World editor in connection with alleged phone hacking, and bribes to police officers.

Mr. Coulson was held for nine hours, then released on police bail to return in October. On his release, at 7.30pm, he told reporters he had attended voluntarily. "There is an awful lot I would like to say, but I can't at this time," he added. Detectives also made a search of his home in Forest Hill, south London, and remove computers and documents.

It would appear, according to the Guardian that although Cameron was warned that Coulson was appointed as the prime minister's director of communications.

The Labour leader, Ed Miliband, criticised the prime minister's judgment, saying his aides were handed a wealth of information warning them about practices Mr Coulson was involved in while editor of the News of the World.

He said: "Putting it right for the prime minister means starting by admitting the appalling error of judgment he made in hiring Andy Coulson, apologising for bringing him into the centre of the government machine, coming clean about what conversations he had with Andy Coulson, before and after his appointment, about phone hacking." (guardian)

During a press conference at Downing Street, David Cameron said that he had been given no "actionable information", and he had accepted Coulson's assurances that he knew nothing of phone hacking during his editorship between 2003 and 2007.

I think people will judge, I gave an individual a second chance, he carried out his job well, he wasn't criticised for the way he did his job, he resigned all over again, that was the the decision he came to" Cameron said.

Coulson was the editor of the News of the World from 2003 until his resignation in 2007, following the conviction of one of the newspaper's reporters in relation to illegal phone-hacking.

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