Is the phone tapping battle over?
Assistant Commissioner John Yates micturated on some of The Guardian’s allegations this evening. Cameron HQ thinks its man Andy Coulson is through the worst of it and they’ve won the battle. So is that it?
Labour MPs are determined to keep up the pressure any way they can.
The Media Select Committee wants to cross-examine Andy Coulson. Labour MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee are hoping to have an inquiry into “police failures over the News of the World phone tapping.”
John Yates said proving phone tapping retrospectively presented “technical challenges” that were “very, very significant.”
The police could not prove extensive phone tapping – does that mean it didn’t happen?
He also focused on the police file on the Goodman prosecution not the wider suggestion of systemic tapping.
On a different note, it will not have gone unnoticed in the Murdoch family that David Cameron stood by one of their own today.
If Andy Coulson had been jettisoned not only would people think he’d known about phone tapping but the finger would quickly turn to other Murdoch employees, including newly promoted Rebekah Wade and Les Hinton…and to “KRM,” as they call him, Keith Rupert Murdoch himself.
This is a kindness that may not go unrecognised.