'I am not a bully': Andy Coulson rejects claims about News of the World work culture

Andy Coulson today denied he was a bully and "absolutely rejected" that there was a culture of bullying at the News of the World while he was editor.

Giving evidence at the phone hacking trial, the 46-year-old – who edited the now-defunct tabloid from 2003-2007 – said: "I am not a bully.

"As for other people, during my time in newspapers, of course. The '80s and '90s in newspapers was a very different era."

But asked if there was a culture of bullying at the News of the World, Coulson said: "I absolutely reject that."

Coulson, who went on to become a media advisor for David Cameron following his resignation from the newspaper, was asked to describe his style as an editor.

He said: "As an editor I tried to be fair. I was, I'm sure, firm at times.

"I have no doubt that there were occasions when I maybe lost my temper. I think when that happened I would be pretty quick to apologise for it.

"But I think I was far quicker to praise people, to encourage people. I wanted to create a team feeling in the paper – not create, I wanted to continue the team feeling and build on it.

"I took a lot of pride as an editor in finding talented people and developing talented people.

"I took great pride in playing a part in people's careers."

He said he tried to show his appreciation of reporters, either in the form of an e-mail, or praising them face-to-face in front of other people in the newsroom, as well as giving them bonuses or sending them on holidays.

"The News of the World would be a very tough place to work at times … It can get quite intense," he said. "I hoped that people came to work at the News of the World and wanted to work there and enjoyed working there. I certainly did."

Earlier in the trial, former royal editor Clive Goodman told the court that the culture at the paper when Coulson became editor after 2003 was "quite bullying, menacing".

Reporter Dan Evans has also told the court that he was being bullied to find front page stories and was told by one senior journalist to "jump off a cliff" if he did not find a good story.

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