Coulson guilty verdict is embarrassing for Cameron

David Cameron has made a “full and frank” apology for employing Andy Coulson as his communications chief, after the former News of the World editor was today found guilty over charges relating to phone hacking.

Coulson’s predecessor, Rebekah Brooks, walked free from the Old Bailey this afternoon after being cleared of four charges relating to phone hacking.

Cameron unveiled Coulson as his new communications director eight years ago after Coulson left the News of the World. At the time, Cameron said he predicted that Coulson would have a “formidable” impact on Tory fortunes.

He was not wrong.

The guilty verdict is embarrassing for the prime minister, who chose to employ Coulson in 2007 even though Clive Goodman, the News of the World’s royal editor, had recently been jailed for hacking the phones of those close to Prince William.

Speaking today, Cameron said he had hired Coulson on assurances which have since proved false. He said: “I always said that if they turned out to be wrong, I would make a full and frank apology and I do that today.

“I am extremely sorry that I employed him. It was the wrong decision and I am very clear about that.”

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