No sooner has former David Cameron been found guilty of phone hacking charges when his former boss, the PM, is issuing a “profound apology” over his “bad decision” to employ his former friend and confidant. So much for loyalty and the political instinct for survival kicks in with a vengeance.
The Telegraph reports that Mr Cameron acknowledged that people would be “concerned” at Coulson having worked for him in Downing Street both as leader of the opposition and Prime Minister, but stressed that there had been no complaints about his work in Downing Street.
He said that before hiring Coulson, he had asked “questions about if he knew about phone hacking” following his resignation from the News of the World.
Mr Cameron said that Coulson had “said that he didn’t and I accepted those assurances and I gave him the job”.
Speaking in the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street, Mr Cameron said: “I take full responsibility for employing Andy Coulson.
“I did so on the basis of undertakings I was given by him about phone hacking and those turned out not to be the case.
“I always said that if they turned out to be wrong, I would make a full and frank apology and I do that today.”
He added: “I am extremely sorry that I employed him. It was the wrong decision and I am very clear about that.”
The Prime Minister added: “I would say that no one has made any complaints about the work that he did for me either as Leader of the Opposition or indeed here in Number 10 Downing Street, but knowing what I now know and knowing that those assurances weren’t right it was obviously wrong to employ him. I gave someone a second chance and it turned out to be a bad decision.”