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Coulson easily handles his Leveson test

10 May 2012

Andy Coulson’s evidence to the Leveson Inquiry was a reminder of
why he rose so quickly. He never said more than he had to and never let his ego interfere with his judgment. It is a testament to his skill that we essentially learnt nothing new from his evidence
this afternoon.

But it should be remembered that Coulson wasn’t on that bad a wicket today. The Leveson Inquiry isn’t going to overlap with the criminal investigations going on and so there
wasn’t much time spent on hacking or on payments to the police. Instead, the questions focused on his relations with politicians and Cameron and Osborne in particular. Helped by some leaden
questioning from Robert Jay QC, Coulson got through this without too much difficulty.

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Jay also failed to press him on the crucial issue of vetting. What did those doing it want to know about his time at the News of the World?

Perhaps, the biggest thing we learnt today is that Coulson isn’t yet ready — if he ever will be — to turn on either News International or the Conservatives.

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Show comments
  • Sylva

    What about Rebecca Brooks?… L.O.L!!!!!!!!!!
    Oh!!!! Milliband did what? Can someone hear me.

    Cameron is cheap and weak.

  • Mr Adequate

    Pettros, people moan about the BBC because they have to pay for it, even if they don’t watch it.

  • John swindon

    The oddest thing about Coulson’s appearance was Levesons comment that the BBC unlike the newspapers was balanced. Depends what is meant by balanced. Coulson made the point that he had to spend a lot of time with BBC to get his party’s point across. The default position of BBC is clearly anti Conservative.

  • Chris lancashire

    Is there any end to this expensive, pointless yawnfest? Out here in the real world most of us couldn’t give a toss.

  • Pettros

    Why dont those moaning about the BBC…watch SKY or CNN. Or if you dont have sattelite Five News. Five news gave Coulson a very easy ride, infact they barely mentioned him. Perhaps this station will give you something closer to exactly what you want to hear?

  • TrevorsDen

    The BBC were clearly desperaste to nsay something and present something in as harmful a way as possible.
    Wark on newsnight was in an almost orgasm with her frenzied accusations.

  • strapworld

    In all this the Biased BBC is left alone.
    Yet, surely, this advertisement is a recipe for trouble?,6952988956&key=61235089&c=875865234822&pagestamp=sejtkfjgrqkcmofkpg

  • telemachus’

    These people always get away with it.
    Just how much he was paid by Murdoch to keep it zipped is anyone’s guess.
    As for his protection of Cameron, one of the reasons for eventually keeping the Lords as it is is because there is a seat being kept warm for the good Andy.

  • cpt

    Erm.. Or maybe he was just telling the truth. Very difficult to get caught out that way.

  • Jeremy

    James Forsyth:

    ‘He never said more than he had to and never let his ego interfere with his judgment. It is a testament to his skill that we essentially learnt nothing new from his evidence this afternoon.’

    Just listen to yourself, Forsyth. Acting like a girlie cheerleader for some monosyllabic tabloid thug. And you expect the rest of us to cheer along with you just because he got away with it? What difference, then, between you and last year’s rioters? Are you simply inhabiting the same moral universe? Or was it in fact people like Coulson, and other members of your trade, who actively created that universe in the first place?

  • Mudplugger

    A calm, succinct performance, barely a superfluous word in hearing.

    Being unemployed, and currently almost unemployable, a cynic may suggest that his performance may have levered open some promised future doors in some areas he could have chosen to compromise with a more spirited display……

  • Charlie

    It looked as if Jay so assumed that evil was inherent in the whole saga of Coulson’s and Cameron’s relationships with each other and with News International that he thought all he had to do was to start Coulson talking and the whole sordid mess would be made thoroughly apparent.

    A fine example of starting from a false premiss and proving absolutely nothing. Rather made me smile.

  • Fish

    I suppose that the left’s disappointment that the imagined land-mines did not explode would result in the denial and wholly predicatable resentment exemplified by telemachus.

    But then the Fabian version of natural justice is a strange one; irrespective of the evidence, for them only one outcome will really suffice, so a trial isn’t actually necessary as Harman shewed (in her premature calls for Hunt’s head), and Mrs Balls (May, twice) and Bryant (pretty well anybody).

    And what of this devil Coulson? Impressive, I would say. Not Labour’s devil as it turned out – a view of who had been formed by a hundred negative soundbites, interviews and commentaries notably delivered by the BBC…with the help of Bryant, Watson, Prescott, Brown and others; opinions delivered repeatedly – understandably unchallenged by the Government – unforgivably unchallenged by the BBC, an orgainisation who, while probing Cameron and Hunt’s relationship with the Murdochs, were themselves lobbying politicians against the take-over of BSkyB.

    Will we ever see the BBC called to account for their behaviour? Over to you M’lud.

  • Woody

    Only managed to hear snatches of Radio5Live re Levenson/Coulson and I just had to laugh at the brazen attempt of the BBC to find something explosive. This was after all,
    the day David Cameron was finished.
    All those journalists with their laptops at the ready are probably now in the Pub drowning their sorrows.
    Serves you all bloody well right.

  • Right On

    Telemachus I’m sorely disappointed surely this is a conspiracy against the forces for the partnership for future growth or something….

  • Widmerpool

    Oh dear I see he is getting under your skin too! Sadly they did not carry my last posting on this and other posters verbose contributions which are good late at night but not at any other time!

  • anyfool

    The questioning of Coulson just confirms that this enquiry has now totally descended into a Murdoch/Tory witch hunt with barely visible signs of objective questions concerning press standards, there was not one question to him about his pre Cameron years. Cameron is a fool to have even set up this enquiry to satisfy baying left wing nutters who had a vested interest in bringing down News Corp. the guardian has already had a result in the NOTW. and hopes for more while the BBC knows that BskyB is a continuing advert for what the public are increasingly coming to the conclusion that a compulsory tax on their viewing habits should be abolished.

  • 2trueblue

    The Biased Broadcasting Corp must be disappointed with the lack of useful stuff ready for embroidery and their negative slant.

  • geoffm

    £40,000 sky shares, chicken shit.
    Needed to do more than work for the tories to get a decent lift on the price

  • BlueonRed

    A great many very intelligent people comment on this website. However i do not understand why so many of you comment on what Telemachus writes. His/her sole intention is to get a rise out of you. Why do you persist in feeding him/her? The best thing to do is to totally ignore trolls, eventually they go away. You cannot win any argument with them as their sole objective is to engage you.

  • JohnPage

    If he survives the judicial process, today’s showing will ensure he gets some lucrative job offers.

  • David Lindsay

    By far the most interesting thing about Andy Coulson’s Leveson appearance was the revelation that The Guardian nearly backed David Cameron. Saying all that needs to be said about David Cameron. And about The Guardian.

  • ellis000

    Telemachus/Nick Hadjinakos – a tad thin even for someone of your limited intellect and diminutive political nous. This is a big boys’ board; you would be better off commenting on The Daily Mirror site.

  • Kitty

    Forgot to mention something-
    Most of The Press agree with the Guardian
    who have said the Following-
    Andy Coulston was quite brilliant,
    Clever,Loyal, Funny, calm and straightforward and modest.
    His performance will have done his career prospects no harm. ( I just hope such a lovely man is proved innocent, and is able to put all this behind him!)
    Andy Coulston even was told in the past by the Guardian that they may support Cameron-Coulston is very good! ( And Handsome!)

  • toco

    telemachus’ given your insane and incessant ravings I assume you are already in prison but not in a straightforward place like Wormwood Scrubs.

  • Andy W H


    Nursing your bitter resentment to keep it warm is like drinking poison and expecting the target of your bile to die.

  • Kitty

    Telemachus-you were so wrong the other day!!!
    Andy Coulston, Highly intellegent, impressive,loyal, cool as a cucumber and
    Robert Jay QC certainly met his match-
    Can see why the Conservative Party hired him.
    Andy Coulston also comes across as Likeable,
    we will have to see where the Police Investigation goes with him, but i hope he is innocent and manages to sue a lot of people (The Police certainly have not got anything on him yet- and they have had him for a while!
    I’m afraid no smoking gun here!

  • RKing

    I watched all of his evidence and couldn’t believe the summary on the BBC news.

    Sky new’s Joey Jones tried his hardest but had to admit that he did a good job in the end.

    BBC should be censured for their report.

  • Maggie

    Coulson is a Star.

  • Sergei Merepat

    telemachus’ He may or may not have a song to sing but if he does will it be as a ‘Red’ breast, a ‘Blue’ tit or a Yellow canary?

  • telemachus’

    Exactly as one might expect.
    A stitch up by the Judicial and political establishment to protect the coalition at times of wobble.
    Do not worry the reasonable wing of Westminster has friends too and when he smells the keys of Wormwood Scrubbs he will sing.

    Can’t wait

  • jules

    There’s a definite whiff of disappointment over the airwaves – they were so sure he was going to be dynamite! good on ‘im!

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