19 July 2009

Why is Coulson being referred to in the past tense?

Andy Coulson will appear before the Select Committee on culture, media and sport on Tuesday over “Hackgate”.  Here is George Osborne in the Indy:

I'm not going to go into my private conversations with Andy Coulson, but I will say this – I think he's been an absolutely excellent communications director for the Conservative Party. I think he's conducted himself in that job in an entirely proper and correct way.

Indeed so, but why refer to him the past tense if he has staying put?  This could be a clue:

One News International insider said Mr Coulson was still a candidate to succeed Ms Brooks as editor of The Sun in September. The fresh revelations of phone-tapping had damaged his chances slightly, but the source added: "Andy is still the golden boy. If things didn't work out with Cameron, he could have the job if he wanted."

On Tuesday, when he is questioned on what Nick Davies said last week, we may become a little wiser to what went on.  If he is to go, which indeed he may, I would expect the announcement to come during the dead month of August and certainly not before the by-election on Thursday.

Will this damage the Tories and in particular Cameron’s judgement?  Let us see what he has to say on Tuesday before drawing any premature conclusions.

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