News Corp May Have Paid British Premier's Aide

Originally published on August 23, 2011 11:32 pm
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MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

Coulson resigned in January of this year but now, there are reports that Coulson continued to receive payments and benefits from the newspaper, even while working for Cameron. Vicki Barker has the story from London.

VICKI BARKER: Tom Watson is the opposition Labour lawmaker who questioned Coulson about his income back in 2009.

TOM WATSON: David Cameron, I'm sure, today would be embarrassed to know that three years into working for him as a spin doctor, Rupert Murdoch was paying for the car and for the health insurance of Andy Coulson.

BARKER: He wants Britain's electoral commission to investigate whether the payments could be considered donations that should have been declared. Watson sits on the committee probing the phone-hacking scandal.

WATSON: And you begin to ask the question, what have we got to do to get the truth out of News International? Every single day, there seems to be a new revelation that contradicts what's previously been said.

BARKER: Cameron could be embarrassed but not necessarily damaged, says Michael White from the left-leaning Guardian newspaper.

MICHAEL WHITE: For most people, it's now faded into the background, leaving a vague impression that Rupert Murdoch is not a white knight - well, I think voters probably thought that anyway, after they read his papers - and that David Cameron's judgment is not as good as it ought to be. They probably knew that, too.

BARKER: For NPR News, I'm Vicki Barker in London. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.