Andy Coulson, communications director of 10 Downing Street, has handed in his resignation as a result of the controversy surrounding the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.
In a statement to the press, given on the same day Tony Blair is appearing in front of the Iraq trial, Coulson said: “I can confirm that I’ve resigned as Downing Street director of communications.
“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.”
He used his statement to reiterate that he stands by his claims that he knew nothing about the practice of illegal phone-hacking during his time as editor of the paper, “but when the spokesman needs a spokesman, it’s time to move on”.
This will mark the second time Coulson has left a high-profile job due to the phone-hacking scandal that has rocked the News of the World, following his exit as editor of the paper in 2007.
Prime minister David Cameron has issued a statement offering his sympathies to Coulson, saying he was “sorry” to see Coulson leave, and that he could “understand that the continuing pressures on him and his family mean that he feels compelled to do so”.
Media Digest reckons that all of this makes writing the next series of The Thick of It much easier.