Downing Street is anxious about Andy Coulson’s appearance before the Leveson Inquiry this week. Coulson is, of course, David Cameron’s former communications chief.
But Coulson’s inquiry evidence — which will concentrate on what he knew about phone hacking when he was editor of the News of the World — could prove less damaging to the Prime Minister than another ticking timebomb.
Coulson kept a detailed diary of his three years alongside Cameron and George Osborne, the Chancellor, who hired him in the first place.
It provides a graphic account of the battles between Coulson, who was brought up on an Essex council estate and went to a comprehensive school, and Cameron’s privileged public school-educated inner circle.
Coulson has not earned a penny since he left Downing Street in January 2011, but he has run up huge legal costs after being arrested by police that July over allegations of corruption and phone hacking.
A kiss-and-tell memoir of his Downing Street days would generate a sum well into six figures, providing security for his family.
He quit as News of the World editor in 2007, after four years in charge, when one of his reporters was sent to jail for phone hacking. The following year, Cameron ignored repeated warnings from senior Tories and journalists that employing Coulson as communications director was a huge risk.
Coulson will speak for the first time about his Downing Street days at the Leveson Inquiry on Thursday.
If he gets a taste for divulging secrets from No 10, the book could be in the shops in time for the Tory Party conference this autumn.
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