United Kingdom

British PM: regret over Coulson hire in hacking crisis

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks about phone hacking to parliament in a still image taken from video in London 20 July 2011.
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks about phone hacking to parliament in a still image taken from video in London 20 July 2011. Reuters

A day after Rupert Murdoch gave evidence to Britain’s parliamentary committee over the scandal that closed his News of the World paper, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Wednesday that with hindsight he would not have hired ex-News of the World editor Andy Coulson.

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In a special emergency session on Britain’s phone hacking crisis Cameron defended his original decision to employ Coulson, who was arrested this month over the scandal at the tabloid.

"With 20-20 hindsight and all that has followed, I would not have offered him the job and I expect that he wouldn’t have taken it," Cameron told the House of Commons.

"You live and you learn and believe you me, I have learned".

Opposition Labour party leader Ed Miliband demanded a full apology from Cameron, accusing him of ignoring repeated reports and warnings over Coulson.

The PM responded by saying "I have an old-fashioned view about innocent until proven guilty but if it turns out I have been lied to that would be a moment for a profound apology".

Cameron has come under intense pressure over his decision to hire Coulson shortly after he quit as editor of the News of the World in 2007 following the jailing of two of his staff over phone tapping.

 

 

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