Peter Hoskin

The story sticks to No.10

Big and bold, the contraction “No.10” appears on most of this morning’s front pages. Or, failing that, the words “former Cameron aide”. After the arrest of Andy Coulson yesterday, it was ever going to be thus. But it’s still a sign of how closely Downing Street is being bound into the phone hacking scandal. Cameron’s call, yesterday, for a judge-led inquiry into the whole, stinking affair — which was, you suspect, intended to deflect some of the heat away from his prime ministerial pulpit — is treated almost as a footnote. It’s all Cameron, Coulson, Cameron, Brooks.

There’s more emphasis on Downing Street inside the papers, too. Continuing his recent fiery form, Peter Oborne has an article in the Telegraph that points its finger at George Osborne for ingratiating Coulson into No.10 in the first place. The Times has more on the warnings (£) that were offered to Team Cameron, by the Guardian’s editor and deputy editor, in 2009 and last year. You can expect the who, what, when and why of Coulson’s appointment to occupy the papers for many editions to come.

Another thing that the Times article clarifies is Downing Street’s attitude towards Coulson now. It quotes an aide as saying, “If we find out that [Coulson’s] assurances were lies we will change our position.” So, innocent before guilty, then — and rightly so. But there’s still a case that the Prime Minister shouldn’t have gone quite so far in standing up for his former pressman yesterday.

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