Hackergate: The questions Cameron must answer

If the Coulson arrest goes ahead, we will know that the Prime Minister failed. The question is how badly. This is what we need to know.

It has been widely trailed that the Prime Minister will give a press conference on the scandal engulfing News International  this morning. His position – described as being in the sewer yesterday by Peter Oborne in the Daily Telegraph yesterday – demands that he answers certain questions.

It has been reported that Andy Coulson, News of the World editor at the time of the hacking scandal, will be arrested today. If so, it would appear that the process that led Cameron to appoint Coulson as head of communications while leader of the opposition, and then bring him into Downing Street, was irrevocably flawed.  If the Coulson arrest goes ahead, we will know that the Prime Minister failed. The question is how badly. What the Prime Minister needs to tell us is:

1) What questions did Cameron ask Coulson on appointing him? Were they framed in such a way that gave Coulson the benefit or burden of the doubt? Did those questions cover all the areas that would be need to be asked of an editor of a newspaper during a major scandal?

2) What were the answers that Coulson gave him? Were they categorical, or ‘creatively vague’? 

3) Did Cameron do anything to check whether Coulson’s answers were true, and the whole truth?

4) What did Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the Guardian, warn Cameron through an intermediary concerning Coulson, on entering Dowing Street. Apparently Rusbridger also told Clegg. This is going to come out at some stage, so Cameron should tell us now. And if the Prime Minister refuses, his Deputy should let it be known.

Until Cameron answers these questions, his moral authority will remain mired in Oborne’s sewer.

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20 Responses to “Hackergate: The questions Cameron must answer”

  1. James Mills

    Hackergate: The questions Cameron must answer: http://bit.ly/qtDVGk: [email protected]

  2. Political Scrapbook

    Which journalists will be the first to ask Cameron these questions? http://t.co/TIcor5H #NOTW

  3. Jane Shaw

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hackergate: The questions Cameron must answer http://t.co/2tlbNFY

  4. Peter Savage

    The questions Cameron must answer http://t.co/dsoSUw8

  5. Michael

    Hackergate: The questions Cameron must answer l Left Foot Forward – http://tinyurl.com/5wxgrej

  6. paurina

    Hackergate: The questions Cameron must answer l Left Foot Forward – http://tinyurl.com/5wxgrej

  7. DrKMJ

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hackergate: The questions Cameron must answer: http://bit.ly/qtDVGk: [email protected] #NewsClub

  8. Selohesra

    And of course Labour is squeaky clean in its relationships with press inc Murdoch. They are all as bad as each other – admit it!

  9. Robert

    Gosh they cannot admit that, but I think Cameron has done OK with his speech today, he states one of the primer ideologies which Newer labour should remember, your only guilty when your proved, in this country your innocent until proved your not.

  10. Anon E Mouse

    With Ed Miliband employing the other Murdoch stalwart, Tom Baldwin, perhaps he ought to stop personalising this affair and prepare for the day it comes back to bite him. Which it will.

    All the newspapers are bad but without a free press we wouldn’t have the MP’s expenses being exposed, resulting in the theft of £thousands of taxpayers money, or the Iraq dossier Labour lied in that resulted in thousands of people being killed overseas.

    We need a free press.

    The individuals involved in this phone “hacking” should be arrested, charged and banged up ASAP but to allow this to be an excuse to clamp down on press freedoms by idiot politicians from any party in not a good idea…

  11. William

    Those that live by the sword die by the sword.Ed Miliband recruited Tom Baldwin,whose behaviour at NI with regard to Michael Ashcroft would appear to be questionable.

  12. Anon E Mouse

    William – Ed Miliband has already been questioned on R4 about Baldwin. I don’t care about this man’s drug taking but according to Ashcroft he also paid to have someones bank account to be “hacked” into.

    I suspect Ed Miliband has a rocky ride ahead…

  13. Ed's Talking Balls

    Opportunistic Miliband will look mighty foolish if he keeps trying to make a party political issue out of this. Just as with the expenses scandal, they’re all in this together.

  14. Ed's Talking Balls

    By the way, if anyone fancies a laugh: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/wintour-and-watt/2011/jul/08/gordon-brown-davidcameron

    Although on balance it’s good that this lunatic is well away from mainstream politics, he did at least provide some inadvertent humour.

  15. Dave Citizen

    Selo, Anon, Ed & co – I think the cats out of the bag chaps – here we have one of the most controversial issues to engulf a PM in some time and you three can’t avert your eyes from Labour and Ed Milliband. If this article had been about Miliband appointing Coulson I wonder what line you’d be taking. No doubt highly critical of Cameron…..not. Quite what you’ve got against Ed M ….hang on…..don’t answer that.

  16. Brooks: "Worse to come"; Guardian: "Millions of emails" deleted by NI | Left Foot Forward

    […] his morning press conference, journalist after journalist pressed him on the Coulson question, wanting to know What he asked him of his past; what Coulson told him; why he trusted him; why […]

  17. Ed's Talking Balls


    Honestly, that’s well wide of the mark (at least in my case, as I can’t speak for anyone else).

    Of course this reflects poorly on David Cameron. Everyone, except the most blinkered, would admit that. He appointed Andy Coulson and is inevitably tarred by that association. Like all politicians in recent times, he has been in bed, metaphorically, with Murdoch. Did I really need to state all that?

    The reason I referred to Miliband in this thread is because of his unbelievable, hypocritical, juvenile line of attack over this issue. I am appalled. This is not a party political matter and he is trying to make out as if it is.

    This is what I have against Miliband. If you admire petty politicians then of course you will be pleased with Miliband’s handling of this issue. I had actually, naively, expected better. And I stand by everything I said above: he will look mighty foolish if he keeps up the rhetoric. Already I’ve seen him skewered by Guru-Murthy on Channel 4 over his links to News International and his appointment of Tom Baldwin.

  18. Mr. Sensible

    Mr Mouse, lets not forget that this is not the first time the press’s tactics have caused controversy; the superinjunction breaches (only a few of which were really in the public interest; Trafigura), and Cablegate (although admittedly Vince brought that one on himself by breaking collective ministerial responsibility to his public).

    With press freedom must come press responsibility. And I’m pleased that Cameron’s saying what I’ve been thinking; we need a genuinely independent press regulator, as the PCC is not fit for purpose.

  19. Dave Citizen

    Fair enough Ed – but I think you could cut EM a little bit more slack. I know you won’t agree with me, but I think the Blair etc. New Labour project makes it genuinely difficult for Labour leaders to move in a progressive direction (i.e. reducing inequality, breaking up concentrations of elite power and wealth, putting British society before international money interests where they conflict and so on).

    At least Ed raises issues like wealth inequality and alternative social models like Scandinavian rather than the usual tunnel vision of the Anglo- American approach (comments that are mostly cut out by a winner takes all/ privatisation / inevitable globalisation pushing media).

    I know he’s a professional politician but I reckon his heart’s roughly in the right place – unlike some others I could mention.

  20. matthew fox

    I am not surprised Ed’s talking Balls & Anon E Ratface are churning out the usual dross.

    Only these simpleton’s would swallow Lord Ashcroft guff.

    I have noticed Kelvin Mackenzie hasn’t got around to retracting the ” Lone Gunmen ” argument he put forward on the 6th of Sept 2010, when having a pop at Chris Bryant on the BBC.

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