Andy's off the hook in phone-tapping row

Goog to see that Tory leader David Cameron is totally convinced that his new spin-doctor, ex-News of the World editor Andy Coulson, was totally blameless in the royal phone-tapping scandal which engulfed the paper.

Sounding like he’s reading a carefully prepared response, Cameron insisted: “I am satisfied that Andy Coulson was not aware that a journalist at the News of the World was engaged in this practice.”

Critics remain unpersuaded that Coulson had absolutely no knowledge of the reasons behind a hefty payment, in excess of £100,000, to Glenn Mulcaire, who was convicted along with the paper’s former royal editor Clive Goodman.

And unfortunately, Cameron’s view is not shared by all at Tory HQ. One senior official told Axegrinder: “Just look at the way the Dail Mail covered Coulson’s appointment. It was far from positive. I fear there could be trouble ahead.”

Coulson hasn’t even started work yet, but has already been struggling to build bridges with Daily Mirror editor Richard Wallace who hit the ceiling after the Tory leader made public details of a private meeting between the pair.

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