8 Jul 2011

CLARENCE MITCHELL'S FORMER BOSS COULSON ARRESTED AND NOT LOOKING FOR ANOTHER JOB ERM....


Andy Coulson: how phone-hacking allegations derailed a career

This week, as the industrial scale of News of the World hacking efforts registered with the public, Coulson's friends melted away
Andy Coulson
Andrew Coulson in Glasgow. Photograph: Murdo Macleod for the Guardian
Andy Coulson's career has now been knocked off course on three occasions by allegations about phone hacking. This time there is surely no way back for the tabloid editor turned political spin doctor, who is now seemingly abandoned by his powerful allies.
The 43-year-old resigned as editor of the News of the World in January 2007, the day that Clive Goodman, the newspaper's former royal editor, was jailed for illegal phone hacking. Almost exactly four years later hestepped down as David Cameron's head of communications, saying further coverage of hacking allegations made it impossible for him to do his Downing Street job.
Both times he protested his personal innocence, a view challenged neither by News International nor the Conservatives, meaning Coulson could present himself as honourable, even wronged.
But this week, as the industrial scale and sheer amorality of News of the World hacking registered with a shocked public, Coulson's friends in high places have shuffled quietly from the scene.
Cameron pointedly refused to back him at prime minister's questions, while News International tried to aim attention at alleged misdeeds during his editorship, rather than that of his predecessor as News of the World editor, Rebekah Brooks, now the company's chief executive. It is a distinctly gloomy potential conclusion to a once glittering career that saw Coulson reach the peak of the gung ho tabloid world in his early 30s.
Born in 1968, an early childhood spent in an Essex council house and subsequent education at a local comprehensive in Wickford put Coulson's origins at odds with the profile of the majority of senior journalists, let alone the privileged backgrounds of most other members of David Cameron's inner circle.
Inevitably, such a backstory has led to the now almost customary characterisations of him as the "Essex boy made good" thanks to hard-nosed ambition, drive and more than an ounce of sheer ruthlessness.
Piers Morgan, another star of tabloid journalism and one-time News of the World editor who described him as "one of the best journalists I have ever worked with", gave Coulson his first Fleet Street job in 1988 when he was hired to work on the Sun's showbiz gossip column, Bizarre, after starting his career at the Basildon Evening Echo.
A 10-week interlude working at the Daily Mail punctuated a journalistic career otherwise spent entirely in the service of News International, which he described to friends as his "spiritual home". Coulson returned to Wapping to edit Bizarre and later join the News of the World as deputy to the then Rebekah Wade.
A public image of brashness took shape at this time. In the runup to the 2001 general election he asked Tony and Cherie Blair if they were members of the mile high club. Less than two years later, in January 2003, he succeeded Brooks as News of the World editor, at the age of 34.
The signs that his tenure as editor would be combative, and not without controversy, came early when he abandoned a deal to protect Princes William and Harry, claiming the royals had not kept their side of bargain.
Success came too. The News of the World was named newspaper of year at the British Press Awards in March 2005, when Coulson apparently sought to sum up his approach to editing as he accepted the award, saying: "The News of the World doesn't pretend to do anything other than reveal big stories and titillate and entertain the public, while exposing crime and hypocrisy."
His departure from the editor's seat was similarly dramatic. After Goodman was jailed, Coulson said he took "ultimate responsibility" for the scandal but insisted he was unaware of the phone hacking. A Press Complaints Commission (PCC) investigation later in 2007 found no evidence that he or anyone else at the paper had been aware of Goodman's activities.
Further ignominy came in 2008 when an employment tribunal upheld a claim that he had engaged in bullying during his tenure as editor, with the paper's former sports reporter Matt Driscoll awarded almost £800,000 for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination.
A career resurrection had already dawned by then. Despite some unease in some Tory ranks, he was hired in May 2007 on a reported salary of £475,000 as the Conservative party's director of communications.
At Tory headquarters, where Coulson immediately became one of Cameron's closest confidants, he was integral in building support on Fleet Street for the then opposition leader and securing a highly important pre-election endorsement of the Sun and other News International stablemates.
After the party formed a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats last May, Coulson made the transition to Downing Street on an annual salary of £140,000. But his time at No 10 was brief, as a succession of public figures launched legal actions against Coulson's old employer over allegations that their mobile phones had been hacked by a private investigator working for the News of the World. The notion that the former editor could have known nothing about the activity began to be questioned in the courts.
Any hopes Coulson might have had that some months on the sidelines would lessen the scrutiny have been undone by this week's revelations.
Most potentially damaging for the ex-editor are questions about his testimony to the perjury trial of the Scottish socialist politician Tommy Sheridan at the high court in Glasgow in December last year, where Coulson was a defence witness for the News of the World – the first and, so far, only time he has been questioned under oath about hacking.
Asked about the activities of Glenn Mulcaire, the investigator used by the News of the World, Coulson said: "I never knew him as an individual, I never met him, I never spoke to him, I never heard his name until the Clive Goodman affair started. But I knew his consultancy was used in an entirely legitimate way during my time as editor."

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  • Andy Coulson: how phone-hacking allegations derailed a career

    This week, as the industrial scale of News of the World hacking efforts registered with the public, Coulson's friends melted away
    Andy Coulson
    Andrew Coulson in Glasgow. Photograph: Murdo Macleod for the Guardian
    Andy Coulson's career has now been knocked off course on three occasions by allegations about phone hacking. This time there is surely no way back for the tabloid editor turned political spin doctor, who is now seemingly abandoned by his powerful allies.
    The 43-year-old resigned as editor of the News of the World in January 2007, the day that Clive Goodman, the newspaper's former royal editor, was jailed for illegal phone hacking. Almost exactly four years later hestepped down as David Cameron's head of communications, saying further coverage of hacking allegations made it impossible for him to do his Downing Street job.
    Both times he protested his personal innocence, a view challenged neither by News International nor the Conservatives, meaning Coulson could present himself as honourable, even wronged.
    But this week, as the industrial scale and sheer amorality of News of the World hacking registered with a shocked public, Coulson's friends in high places have shuffled quietly from the scene.
    Cameron pointedly refused to back him at prime minister's questions, while News International tried to aim attention at alleged misdeeds during his editorship, rather than that of his predecessor as News of the World editor, Rebekah Brooks, now the company's chief executive. It is a distinctly gloomy potential conclusion to a once glittering career that saw Coulson reach the peak of the gung ho tabloid world in his early 30s.
    Born in 1968, an early childhood spent in an Essex council house and subsequent education at a local comprehensive in Wickford put Coulson's origins at odds with the profile of the majority of senior journalists, let alone the privileged backgrounds of most other members of David Cameron's inner circle.
    Inevitably, such a backstory has led to the now almost customary characterisations of him as the "Essex boy made good" thanks to hard-nosed ambition, drive and more than an ounce of sheer ruthlessness.
    Piers Morgan, another star of tabloid journalism and one-time News of the World editor who described him as "one of the best journalists I have ever worked with", gave Coulson his first Fleet Street job in 1988 when he was hired to work on the Sun's showbiz gossip column, Bizarre, after starting his career at the Basildon Evening Echo.
    A 10-week interlude working at the Daily Mail punctuated a journalistic career otherwise spent entirely in the service of News International, which he described to friends as his "spiritual home". Coulson returned to Wapping to edit Bizarre and later join the News of the World as deputy to the then Rebekah Wade.
    A public image of brashness took shape at this time. In the runup to the 2001 general election he asked Tony and Cherie Blair if they were members of the mile high club. Less than two years later, in January 2003, he succeeded Brooks as News of the World editor, at the age of 34.
    The signs that his tenure as editor would be combative, and not without controversy, came early when he abandoned a deal to protect Princes William and Harry, claiming the royals had not kept their side of bargain.
    Success came too. The News of the World was named newspaper of year at the British Press Awards in March 2005, when Coulson apparently sought to sum up his approach to editing as he accepted the award, saying: "The News of the World doesn't pretend to do anything other than reveal big stories and titillate and entertain the public, while exposing crime and hypocrisy."
    His departure from the editor's seat was similarly dramatic. After Goodman was jailed, Coulson said he took "ultimate responsibility" for the scandal but insisted he was unaware of the phone hacking. A Press Complaints Commission (PCC) investigation later in 2007 found no evidence that he or anyone else at the paper had been aware of Goodman's activities.
    Further ignominy came in 2008 when an employment tribunal upheld a claim that he had engaged in bullying during his tenure as editor, with the paper's former sports reporter Matt Driscoll awarded almost £800,000 for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination.
    A career resurrection had already dawned by then. Despite some unease in some Tory ranks, he was hired in May 2007 on a reported salary of £475,000 as the Conservative party's director of communications.
    At Tory headquarters, where Coulson immediately became one of Cameron's closest confidants, he was integral in building support on Fleet Street for the then opposition leader and securing a highly important pre-election endorsement of the Sun and other News International stablemates.
    After the party formed a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats last May, Coulson made the transition to Downing Street on an annual salary of £140,000. But his time at No 10 was brief, as a succession of public figures launched legal actions against Coulson's old employer over allegations that their mobile phones had been hacked by a private investigator working for the News of the World. The notion that the former editor could have known nothing about the activity began to be questioned in the courts.
    Any hopes Coulson might have had that some months on the sidelines would lessen the scrutiny have been undone by this week's revelations.
    Most potentially damaging for the ex-editor are questions about his testimony to the perjury trial of the Scottish socialist politician Tommy Sheridan at the high court in Glasgow in December last year, where Coulson was a defence witness for the News of the World – the first and, so far, only time he has been questioned under oath about hacking.
    Asked about the activities of Glenn Mulcaire, the investigator used by the News of the World, Coulson said: "I never knew him as an individual, I never met him, I never spoke to him, I never heard his name until the Clive Goodman affair started. But I knew his consultancy was used in an entirely legitimate way during my time as editor."

    5 comments:

    viv said...

    To say I am thrilled about this would be something of an understatement.

    Who is going to save the McCanns now?

    NO ONE

    viv said...

    COULSON COMMITTED PERJURY, LENGTHY STRETCH...

    Coulson fighting on three legal fronts as words come back to haunt him
    By Jonathan Brown
    Friday, 8 July 2011SHARE PRINTEMAILTEXT SIZE NORMALLARGEEXTRA LARGE
    AP
    Former NOTW editor and No 10 press chief Andy Coulson could face perjury charges

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    When Andy Coulson, then the Prime Minister's communications director, told Glasgow High Court there was no culture of phone hacking while he was editor of the Sunday newspaper he was speaking under oath.

    As well as denying that his staff participated in illegal practices, he told the jury that "to his knowledge" police officers were never paid for information by the News of the World.

    It was an assured performance from a man whose time at the heart of David Cameron's government was already running out. Over two days of hostile questioning, Mr Coulson stuck to the assertion that phone hacking was the "unfortunate" work of a single rogue reporter and a private investigator.

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    Yesterday it was confirmed that Mr Coulson faces a possible perjury investigation over those remarks, but more immediately he is expected to be arrested this morning over suspicions that he was aware of, or had direct involvement in, phone hacking while he was editor of the NOTW.

    viv said...

    Another concern is the investigation into a total of £100,000 that was paid to police officers by News International, as Coulson could be among senior figures implicated in the bribes.

    In the perjury investigation, the Crown Office said that police in Glasgow would look again at evidence given by Coulson and two other senior figures from the NOTW, Scottish editor Bob Bird and news editor Douglas Wight, during the perjury trial of the socialist politician Tommy Sheridan last year.

    A Crown Office spokesman said: "Strathclyde Police have been asked to make a preliminary assessment and to report to the Area Procurator Fiscal at Glasgow for consideration of any further action."

    This week, the Information Commissioner disclosed the newspaper's cache of emails related to the case, previously claimed by News International to have been lost, had been discovered. According to Labour MP Tom Watson, these might cast doubt on the prosecution case.

    Mr Sheridan's lawyer, Aamer Anwar, yesterday delivered his own dossier of evidence including trial notes of the evidence from the three journalists.

    The former MSP was jailed for three years for lying in court during an earlier defamation case over a story carried by the Scottish edition of the paper that he had visited swingers clubs.

    But during the ensuing perjury proceedings, it was revealed that details of his mobile telephone had been discovered in the notebook of Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator imprisoned alongside NOTW royal reporter, Clive Goodman, for hacking.

    Mr Coulson, who was editor of the paper from 2003-2007, denied knowledge that phone hacking took place under his leadership while being cross-examined by Mr Sheridan.

    Mr Anwar welcomed the decision to close the NOTW. He said: "It is now time that those at the top of this organisation were arrested and questioned if they are not above the law.

    viv said...

    He says in court that police officers were never paid, but now, presumably Rebekah Brooks has disclosed emails to the police confirming that he personally sanctioned those payments.

    This guy is in really serious trouble.

    Heartbroken staff at the News of the World were told by her they got the sack. Ninety percent of them did not work for the paper when she or Coulson were editors and the illegal hacking was taking place.

    But it looks like they get thrown out with the bathwater whilst she hangs on to her no doubt highly paid job Nice lady!

    viv said...

    There is a cynical view that Murdoch has been more than happy to just dump the News of the World, it is BSkyB he wants full control of, a much better earner no doubt.

    He will probably make Rebekah Chairman, if the police do not get her first, no wonder she has been having all those cosy meals with Cameron. Let us hope even he cannot save this hard nosed cow.