The Prime Minister David Cameron is coming under increasing pressure to apologise for his links to former News of the World journalists after it emerged yesterday that Andy Coulson, Cameron’s former press director and ex-editor of the News of the World, consulted with and was advised by Neil Wallis, former deputy editor of the paper.
Mr Wallis assisted Mr Coulson in his work for the Conservative party in the run up to last year’s General Election. Both men were arrested last week in connection with the phone hacking scandal.
According to a report in the Guardian newspaper, Mr Wallis was employed for one week on a specific project designed to achieve publicity in the tabloid press for one of the party’s policies. It has not been revealed which policy this was. Party sources insist that Mr Wallis received no payment for his work.
A spokesman for the Conservative party insisted on Tuesday that the use of Mr Wallis’s services was “uncontroversial”. The spokesman claimed that the party had only discovered the involvement of Mr Wallis last weekend and said that Mr Cameron had only been made aware of it within the past few days.
The spokesman said: “It has been drawn to our attention that he [Mr Wallis] may have provided Andy Coulson with some informal advice on a voluntary basis before the election. We are currently finding out the exact nature of any advice.
“We can confirm that apart from Andy Coulson, neither David Cameron nor any senior member of the campaign team were aware of this until this week.”