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August 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

David Cameron, Andy Coulson

Britain’s telephone hacking scandal took a new turn on Monday when the BBC reported that former News of the World editor Andy Coulson had received hundreds of thousands of dollars from News International, the News Corp subsidiary that oversees Rupert Murdoch’s news operations in the U.S., after he had resigned from the paper and had become communications director for David Cameron, the head of the Conservative Party. Cameron later hired him to become his spokesman when he became prime minister. He quit in January as the phone-hacking scandal continued to unfold and was arrested last month on suspicion of corruption and intercepting telephone communications. The latest revelation raises anew questions about Murdoch’s influence within the British government. The New York Times observed today (Tuesday) that Coulson received severance payments from News International over time, not in one lump sum as is usual. The newspaper quoted people familiar with the hacking investigations as expressing concern that News Corp may have been attempting to buy Coulson’s “continued loyalty.” News International declined to comment on the BBC report, issuing a statement saying that it “consistently does not comment on the financial arrangements of any individual.”