So far, the Tories are standing behind their comms chief. A statement from No.10 reiterated that Coulson "totally and utterly denies" the allegations made against him. But there's little denying that this is trickier for them now than when this story flared up last year. First, there's an ingredient which was more or less missing then: direct testimony, whether true or not, that he was aware of phone tapping at the NotW. And then there's the fact that the Tories are now operating in government, where public scrutiny is even more exacting and less forgiving than it would be otherwise. Their hope will be simple: that there are no further developments.