Monday, 5 April 2010
Phone taps and Andy Coulson
Today's Guardian "Police 'ignored News of the World phone hacking evidence'" shows how the police restricted the scope of their investigations into the News of the World phone bugging scandal under Andy Coulson's stewardship. Peter Black has covered this in detail already. I will just consider the figures. Whereas the police have been saying all along that only a handful of people were victims of the NoTW's illegal behaviour, they in fact had, according to the Guardian, "4,332 names or partial names ..., 2,978 numbers or partial numbers for mobile phones and 30 audio tapes which appear to contain an unspecified number of recordings of voicemail messages". The behaviour of the police themselves, exacerbated by their obstructiveness over responding to the FOI requests which finally unearthed these figures, is questionable to say the least. But the most interesting political facet is whether David Cameron's press chief is going to find himself becoming the story just when he is supposed to be running a general election campaign. Andy Coulson has always denied all knowledge of these goings on. But when they get to this scale, his story begins to look rather thin.