Andy Coulson to appear at the Leveson Inquiry

Andy Coulson is due to appear at the Leveson Inquiry. The former News of the World Editor is expected to speak about how he came to be appointed the Tories' top spin doctor having left his job at the infamous paper over the hacking scandal.

It was just four months after he left the Murdoch owned paper Mr Coulson was hired as the Government's communications chief.

  • January 26, 2007 - The News of the World's royal editor Clive Goodman is jailed for four months and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire receives a six-month sentence after they admit intercepting voicemail messages on royal aides' phones. The paper's editor Andy Coulson resigns in the wake of the convictions.
  • May 2010 - Mr Coulson becomes head of the new coalition Government's media operation after David Cameron enters 10 Downing Street as Prime Minister.
  • September 2010 - The New York Times publishes a long article which claims Mr Coulson knew his staff were carrying out illegal phone hacking.
  • January 21, 2011 - Mr Coulson announces he is standing down as Downing Street communications chief.
Andy Coulson leaves Downing Street January 21, 2011
Andy Coulson leaves Downing Street January 21, 2011 Credit: Reuters

Mr Coulson eventually left Downing Street saying the continued speculation over his previous role at the News of the World meant he could not do his job properly:

I can today confirm that I've resigned as Downing Street director of communications.

It's been a privilege and an honour to work for David Cameron for three-and-a-half years.

I'm extremely proud of the part I've played in helping him reach No 10 and during the coalition's first nine months.

Nothing is more important than the Government's task of getting this country back on its feet.

Unfortunately, continued coverage of events connected to my old job at the News of the World has made it difficult for me to give the 110 per cent needed in this role.

I stand by what I've said about those events but when the spokesman needs a spokesman, it's time to move on.

I'll leave within the next few weeks and will do so wishing the Prime Minister, his family, and his brilliant and dedicated team the very best for what I'm sure will be a long and successful future in Government.

– Andy Coulson, 21st January 2011