Prime Minister Cameron’s former director of communications Andy Coulson was detained by police investigating allegations of perjury yesterday. Coulson was detained at his home in the Dulwich area of London at 6.30am by seven officers from Strathclyde Police and taken to Glasgow for questioning.
A police spokeswoman said: ‘Officers from Strathclyde Police’s Operation Rubicon team detained a 44-year-old man in London this morning under section 14 of the Criminal Procedure Scotland Act 1995 on suspicion of committing perjury before the High Court in Glasgow.’
Coulson, who was editor of the News of the World between 2003 and 2007, gave evidence at the perjury trial of former Scottish Socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan in 2010.
During heated exchanges with Sheridan, who represented himself at the trial, Coulson denied being involved in, or aware of, any illegal activities, including making payments to police officers and phone hacking. At the time of his two-day appearance, Coulson was employed as Prime Minister Cameron’s director of communications.
Sheridan was released in January from a three-year jail term for perjury.
In July 2011, Coulson was arrested by Metropolitan Police investigating the News of the World hacking scandal and later released on bail.
• Business Secretary Vince Cable told the Leveson Inquiry yesterday that ‘veiled threats’ had been made against the Liberal Democrats when he was assessing News Corporation’s 2010 bid for BSkyB.
He told the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics his party was warned it would be ‘done over’ in the Murdoch press if he ruled against the News Corp takeover attempt.
He told the inquiry: ‘I had heard directly and indirectly from colleagues that there had been veiled threats, that if I made the wrong decision from the point of view of the company, my party would be – I think somebody used the phrase – “done over” in the News International press.’
After a newspaper ‘sting’ in 2010 which he was recorded by undercover reporters from the Daily Telegraph saying that he had ‘declared war on Rupert Murdoch,’ Cable was removed from his role of deciding on the News Corp bid and the decision was handed to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who is to appear at the Leveson Inquiry today.