David Cameron Regrets Appointing Andy Coulson

The British prime minister answers for his ties to the News Corp. scandal

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Following yesterday's "humble pie" Rupert Murdoch appearance, it's British prime minister David Cameron's turn Wednesday to defend himself before a Parliament hearing. He apologized for appointing former News of the World editor Andy Coulson as his communications director, claimed he "never had one inappropriate conversation" about BSkyB with News International executives, and announced that the public inquiry into the phone hacking scandal will "be widened to examine the conduct of individuals in the police, media and politics," reported BBC News and The Guardian.

Cameron has been endlessly criticized for his appointment of Coulson, and during the hearing one of his biggest critics, Ed Miliband, Labour opposition leader, deemed it a "catastrophic error of judgement," according to the BBC. The New York Times points out just how much Cameron hedged on the issue:

It was the closest he has come to an apology and seemed to show that the prime minister was distancing himself from his former aide...But Mr. Cameron continued to defend Mr. Coulson’s work as director of communications and said he had "an old-fashioned view about innocence until proven guilty." But, he said, if it was proved that Mr. Coulson lied to him, "that will be the moment for a profound apology."

In regards to the Cameron's seeming non-answer on BSkyB, The Guardian relays: "The prime minister has refused to deny that he discussed the BSkyB bid with senior executives at News International since the election. Pressed on the issue following a Commons statement on the phone hacking scandal, David Cameron would only say: 'I have never had one inappropriate conversation.'"

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.