Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Should David Cameron resign?

I mentioned this aspect of the hacking story briefly yesterday, but Polly Toynbee takes it up very effectively.
But is there more to come? The Mail on Sunday reported that Cameron intended to hire the BBC's Guto Harri as his press secretary. So close, apparently, was the appointment that the Harri family visited the Camerons one weekend in 2007 at Chipping Norton to discuss it, but the job went to Andy Coulson after Rebekah Brooks "is said to have told Mr Cameron that the post should go to Mr Coulson to strengthen links between the Tories and News International". Is this true? Reviewing the papers on the Andrew Marr programme on Sunday, I pointed out this story and said Harri was well-known in the BBC as a straight-as-a-die, honest man. I was pleased to get a text from Harri just after the show saying "Thanks". Does that mean it is true? I called Harri, who now works for Boris Johnson, to check. Yes, he said he'd heard tell that his name was not acceptable to News International. "I heard it as gossip on the grapevine – but I have no idea whether or not it's true. Yes, I did talk to David Cameron about taking the job – but whilst I lingered they'd clearly approached Andy Coulson." He had a good idea who the source from the Sun was for the story. How Cameron must wish he had given Harri the job. The idea that News International planted their man in the heart of Downing Street is truly shocking.
If this is true, then the Prime Minister has to resign. You can't have the man running the country choosing taxpayer-paid officials according to how acceptable he is to a particular media company.

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