From red-top to true blue - Coulson joins the Tories

Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson has been confirmed as the new director of communications for the Conservative Party.

By contrast, Labour’s Gordon Brown has opted to make Michael Ellam, a career civil servant, his spokesman.

Coulson’s appointment follows his resignation from the News of the World in January after royal editor Clive Goodman was sentenced to four months for intercepting royal phone message. At the time Coulson accepted full responsibility for the wrongdoing at the paper.

Welcoming Coulson to his new post – which he will take up on July 9 – Tory leader David Cameron said: “Andy is a hugely experienced journalist. I am delighted that he has agreed to join my team as director of communications and planning.

“Andy will make a formidable contribution as a senior member of my team in building the most effective strategy and operation to win the next general election. I look forward very much to working with him”.

Coulson said: “I am delighted to be joining David Cameron’s team and I look forward to helping the Conservative Party to return to Government under his leadership.”

Coulson said at the time of his resignation: “I have decided that the time has come for me to take ultimate responsibility for the events

around the Clive Goodman case. As I’ve said before, his actions were entirely wrong and I deeply regret that they happened on my watch. I also feel strongly that when the News of the World calls those in public life to account on behalf of its readers, it must have its own house in order.”

The 38-year-old, a former showbiz reporter for The Sun, had been at the helm of the News of the World for four years.

Coulson is taking up a new position within the party, and existing personnel will remain in place.

George Eustice, Cameron’s press secretary, will continue to handle day-to-day briefings with lobby journalists while Mr Coulson takes a

broader strategic role.

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