[QODLink]
Europe

UK PM apologises for hiring phone-hack editor

Cameron says he made "wrong decision" to hire Andy Coulson, found guilty of conspiring to hack phones, as media chief.

Last updated: 25 Jun 2014 06:40
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Andy Coulson, 46, ran the British leader's media operations from 2007 until 2011 [AP]

David Cameron has said he was wrong to hire Andy Coulsen as his media chief in 2007 after the former editor of a Rupert Murdoch tabloid was found guilty of being part of a phone-hacking conspiracy.

Coulson was found guilty on Tuesday of conspiring to hack phones while working as editor of the News of the World. Rebekah Brooks, Coulson's predecessor, was acquitted of all charges by a jury at London's Old Bailey. 

Coulson was hired by Cameron to be his media chief in 2007, as claims began to emerge that NoW journalists were routinely hacking into the voicemail systems of mobile telephones to gain stories.

Hours after the verdicts, the British prime minister said: "I'm extremely sorry that I employed him, it was the wrong decision," Cameron said in a "full and frank" apology.

"I asked him questions about if he knew about phone hacking and he said that he didn't and I accepted those assurances and I gave him the job."

The Coulson verdict threatens to damage Conservative leader Cameron's reputation ahead of a national election next year.

Coulson, 46, ran the British leader's media operations from 2007 until 2011. Cameron said he had given Coulson a second chance after the ex-editor's media career had ended, something he said he now realised was a bad decision.

Coulson denied wrongdoing before and after Cameron hired him. During the trial, Coulson said he had been aware of one hacking incident, but that staff had kept the widespread criminal activity from him.

252

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.