English Prime Minister David “One is an Ordinary Bloke” Cameron is facing a scandal as his number one chum media adviser Andy Coulson is about to be hauled into court in a hacking case.
Coulson has been told to explain to the Wigged Ones how hacks working for his News of the Screws rag were hacking people’s phones while he was editing the paper.
The case is being bought about by the former MP George Galloway who has told his briefs that he does not want any out-of-court settlement in a claim for breach of privacy unless Rupert Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers, owners of the News of the World, are prepared to make full disclosure of the paper’s involvement in phone-hacking.
Cameron has repeatedly said his spin doctor deserves a “second chance” after resigning over the phone-hacking scandal in 2007. The second chance appears to be a top job with the best expense fiddlers Westminister can offer.
Generally life is not going great for Downing Street. There was speculation that the Foreign Secretary William Hague would resign because of smears over a Little Britain style relationship with his aide Christopher Myers. Coulson wrote the statement for Hague defending his marriage, just as fresh information was emerging in the phone-hacking scandal. Coulson’s statement for Hague is being seen as “poor judgement”.
Another News of the Screws hack Dan Evans, is currently “suspended from reporting duties” following a complaint by a female television personality that her voicemail was intercepted this year.
Mr Galloway lodged a claim for a minimum of £300,000 in damages in the High Court in July, claiming his voicemail was illegally intercepted between February 2005 and August 2006, when Coulson was editing the News of the World.
Galloway was advised by coppers to change his mobile telephone after his name was found on a list compiled by Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator who worked for Coulson’s rag. Mulcaire was jailed in 2007 along with the News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman after they were convicted of hacking into the phone messages of royal aides.
The chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association Gordon Taylor and the publicist Max Clifford, have sued News Group for damages and were paid off.
Galloway, the former Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, wants the case to be public.
According to the Independent, Galloway thinks that with Coulson now in Downing Street there is an establishment cover-up. Of course that and the fact that it keeps his name in the media. Galloway has not had much to do since he was no longer elected and he did not make it onto Ultimate Big Brother.
Galloway was the target of a sting operation by Mazher Mahmood, the News of the World’s undercover reporter, in 2006. He thinks that Mahmood tried, and failed, to implicate him in Holocaust denial and financial irregularities.
The News of the World claims it had no knowledge or evidence that Mr Galloway’s voicemail was accessed.