Majority think Coulson should be sacked, police should re-open investigation

A YouGov poll commissioned by The Sun and carried out over Monday / Tuesday finds:

The editor of the News of the World at the time, Andy Coulson, denied knowledge of the phone tapping operation, but accepted the “ultimate responsibility” as editor and resigned. He has since taken a job as David Cameron’s Director of Communications. There have recently been allegations from former employees of the News of the World that phone tapping was more widespread at the News of the World and that Andy Coulson was personally aware of the tapping. Mr Coulson has denied allegations that he was aware of the phone tapping and has said that he is happy to talk to the police. Do you think Mr Coulson should or should not keep his job in Downing Street?

Should not keep his job 52%
Should keep his job 24%
Don’t know 24%

Do you think the police should or should not reopen their investigation into the phone tapping affair?

Should re-open investigation 54%
Should not re-open investigation 24%
Don’t know 22%

The usual caveats about paying too much attention to a single poll apply, but the differences in answers are well beyond the margin of error and the wording of the questions does not look like wording that would have produced massively distorted figures.

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8 Comments

  • Hmm. The Sun’s love affair with Cameron was pretty short!

    Is the Sun gunning for its sister paper?
    (Seem to recall it commissioning polls a few months ago it didn’t publish cos it didn’t like the results)

    Politicians seem to have no regrets when the tabloids are ripping MPs of rival parties to shreds over their private lives: worry here seems to be a mix of party political (get Cameron) and “it could’ve been my phone” as much as genuine outrage or principals: not like this story is new, and far less fuss last time.

    Of course Coulson should step down, pending an inquiry, whether he’s done anything wrong or not. David Laws did instantly, Hague’s adviser did. Both stories now old news (tho’ I hope to see a positive conclusion to DL’s case: what’s happening with that, btw).
    This isn’t going away because Coulson isn’t, it undermines Cameron. If Coulson stepped down pending inquiries etc, the government could get on with governing in the meantime.

    And we need a long, serious, careful look at the media and privacy all round. Phone tapping is clearly indefensible, but when judges are increasingly blocking the press from reporting the truth about people because they don’t like it… it might just be footballers now, but it’s a slippery slope.

  • What I find more shocking is how little is being said from senior Lib Dems in the cabinet. Its pretty shocking that Nick Clegg who is meant to be a lib dem appears more blue every day. Will he jump ship to the right when he gets the sack next year….I’m betting he will.

    What a one sided government this is. A tory party being allowed to do what ever it wants thanks to the Lib Dems propping it up.

    Unless lib dem back benchers actually do something your party is going to face a complete wipeout come the next election and you’ll be asking yourself….was it worth it.

  • Coulson is Cameron and Clegg’s man, he wont be going anywhere if they can help it.

  • TheContinentalOp 12th Sep '10 - 12:41pm

    @ Richard

    As far as I’m aware Lib Dem backbenchers have and will continue to speak out about this.

  • Andrew Suffield 12th Sep '10 - 12:59pm

    What I find more shocking is how little is being said from senior Lib Dems in the cabinet.

    I take it you’re new to UK politics. There is an explicit rule against government ministers speaking out against the government’s actions in public – they are required to either do this in the regular cabinet meetings, or to resign before they make a statement. This system has been used for every UK government for decades. The government “speaks with one voice”.

    There is (deliberately) no rule against government ministers passing suggestions on to their own party backbenchers, who will do the criticising for them. It’s a bit Byzantine, but it’s party of the traditions of how Parliament operates.

    A tory party being allowed to do what ever it wants

    Some of us remember Thatcher. This is not what the Tories do when they can do whatever they want.

  • Mark Inskip 12th Sep '10 - 1:44pm

    @Andrew Suffield
    Agreed – I find the level of ignorance of the basic rules of Cabinet government very surprising

  • If there’s new evidence then the inquiry should be re-opened, but I don’t think he should lose his job until they find him guilty. Maybe a little gardening leave while the inquiry is going on.

  • Darren Reynolds 12th Sep '10 - 10:41pm

    @Andrew. If the effect of that rule is that Clegg has to defend Coulson at PMQs then it’s time for the rules to change. Clegg needs to say what he thinks. On the other hand, if he already is, then he’s done for.

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