PM's Aide Stayed on Murdoch's Payroll

Ex- NOTW editor received Murdoch checks while working for Tories
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2011 4:51 AM CDT
Cameron Aide Andy Coulson Stayed on News International Payroll
Andy Coulson, formerly editor of the tabloid News of the World, and later Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron's director of communications, speaks on a mobile phone in London.    (AP Photo/Oli Scarff, Pool, file)

(Newser) – The British phone-hacking scandal just became even more damaging to British Prime Minister David Cameron. Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson remained on the News International payroll for six months after being hired as Cameron's communication director, receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Rupert Murdoch firm while working in a sensitive role for the Conservative Party, the BBC reports. Coulson, who stepped down earlier this year as phone-hacking allegations spread, was arrested last month.

Cameron has been widely accused of poor judgment in hiring Coulson, and the news of the financial links to News International will add fuel to the fire, the Guardian notes. Coulson appears to have failed to tell party officials that he was still on the Murdoch payroll. "We can give categorical assurances that he wasn't paid by any other source. Andy Coulson's only salary, his only form of income, came from the party during the years he worked for the party and in government," a senior Conservative official said last month. (Read more Andy Coulson stories.)

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