Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson received several hundred thousand pounds from News International after he started working as the director of communications for David Cameron and the Conservative Party in July 2007, the BBC’s Robert Peston is reporting.
The payment was part of Coulson’s severance package as part of a “compromise agreement,” and sources said that full sum was given to Coulson in installments until the end of 2007–meaning that he was financially linked to News International several months after he took the position with Cameron. According to Peston, Coulson also continued to receive company benefits for three years after his departure and kept his company car.
A senior government member said the Conservative Party claimed that, at the time, it was not aware of Coulson receiving any payments from News International. Cameron, who has repeatedly defended his appointment of Coulson, will undoubtedly be put in an even more precarious position given this revelation.