Peter Hoskin

A newspaper has died, and the recriminations are only just beginning

The blood of the News of the World is sprayed right across the front pages this morning. And yet there’s still more bleeding to be done, it seems. The Guardian has been reporting since last night that Andy Coulson is to be arrested today, over suspicions about his knowledge of phone hacking and police bribery at the paper he once edited. The Mail quotes “supporters of Mr Coulson” as saying that, “he could make damaging claims about Mrs Brooks, who edited the News of the World before him, which in turn could result in her being questioned.” Which rather captures the sense that this story could still intensify, even after Rupert Murdoch’s dramatic attempt to cauterise the wound.

Of course, if Coulson’s involvment in the story was awkward for David Cameron earlier in the week, then his arrest would be several shades more so. As I said at the time of Coulson’s departure from Downing Street, the more closely he is tied to malpractice at the News of the World, the more questions will be asked about the “excellent, excellent job” he did for the Prime Minister. Expect that word “judgement” to be flung around with renewed vigour over the next few days.

As for Ed Miliband, he’s trying to spread himself across the airwaves as much as he can. He gave a speech at 0800 this morning, in which he voiced all the expected lines about Rebekah Brooks, a judge-led inquiry, BSkyB, and all that. And he also added that, “Putting it right for the Prime Minister means admitting the extraordinary error he made in appointing Andy Coulson.” The News of the World may have closed, but politics is still open for business, 24/7.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in