In the past few minutes, Andy Coulson has been found guilty on one count of conspiracy to hack phones. The jury has not given its verdict on all counts yet, but this is the verdict that David Cameron dreaded. As Coulson was his former director of communications, it again raises questions about his judgement in hiring the former editor of the News of the World. He has already said that if it turned out that he had been lied to, he will make a ‘profound apology':
‘If it turns out I have been lied to that would be a moment for a profound apology, and in that event I can tell you I will not fall short.’
Rebekah Brooks has been cleared of all four charges against her, her husband Charlie Brooks was cleared of perverting the course of justice, her assistant Cheryl Carter was cleared of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, and News International’s director of security Mark Hanna was cleared of perverting the course of justice. Stuart Kuttner, former managing editor, was cleared of being part of a conspiracy. Further charges against Coulson and Clive Goodman, the former royal editor, are still being considered by the jury.
Ed Balls has raised the issue in the Commons. Here is the audio:
UPDATE, 12.29pm: The Prime Minister’s official spokesman has said his words ‘entirely stand’. Stand by for an apology.