Cameron nightmare continues as prospect of Coulson memoir emerges
PM was reportedly so keen to hire Andy Coulson that he waived the usual confidentiality clause. Uh-oh...
THE DISCLOSURES about Chancellor George Osborne's secret weekend party for Rebekah Brooks at his grace-and-favour retreat have underlined the damage that Andy Coulson could inflict on David Cameron with his reporters' notebooks.
Coulson triggered the calls for the Chancellor to face scrutiny at the Leveson inquiry with his written evidence to Leveson. In it, Coulson gave details for the first time of the weekend at Dorneywood in Buckinghamshire which he attended with Brooks, then chief executive of News International, a few days before News Corp tabled its £8bn bid for BSkyB.
Labour are claiming that it was hugely inappropriate for the Chancellor to have such inappropriate secret meetings with Murdoch's UK chief at such a sensitive time, and sense blood after the wounding of Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who is clinging to his job by his fingernails, pending his own grilling by Leveson.
Coulson was then working for Cameron at Number Ten and his three years inside the Cameron camp could prove highly damaging in the future. Coulson told the inquiry last week that he was not keeping a diary like Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair's former spin doctor.
That seemed to kill interest in the subject by Robert Jay, the inquiry QC, but Coulson said he was keeping notes of everything that went on in a series of reporters’ notebooks which he still has in his possession.
Normally, he would be bound by confidentiality clauses which civil servants have to sign but the Independent on Sunday reported at the weekend that Cameron waived the requirement for him to sign a gagging order because he was so desperate to hire him.
Andrew Pierce, the Daily Mail’s political commentator, was rubbing his hands with glee on the Andrew Marr show at the prospect of Coulson spilling the beans on the three years he spent by Cameron’s side. "It would be a compelling memoir," he purred.
Publishers are probably lining up to bid for the Cameron Inside Story as told by Coulson. Leveson is due to take evidence this morning from Campbell, which Sky Man Glen Oglaza has tweeted could take the "pressure off Cameron as we are to hear about the Blair years and relations with the press and News International".
Tomorrow Leveson takes evidence from Sky News beefy political editor Adam Boulton, who had a spectacular on-air fight with Campbell that became a YouTube classic. Lord Justice Leveson clearly decided it was safer to keep them apart.