Hacking trial: Piers Morgan and Louise Mensch declare support for Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks following verdict

The former Daily Mirror editor and former MP take to Twitter to voice their opinions

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The Independent Online

Piers Morgan and Louise Mensch expressed their admiration and sadness in equal measure following news that the former editor of the News of the World, Andy Coulson, had been found guilty of conspiring to hack phones between 2000 and 2006.

At the same time, Morgan declared his support for “friend” Rebekah Brooks, Coulson’s fellow ex-editor, who was cleared off all charges by the jury at the Old Bailey.

“So happy for my friends Rebekah and Charlie, so sad for my friend Andy. A good man, who I will always support,” Morgan wrote via Twitter.

Morgan, the former editor of the Daily Mirror, was himself questioned by police over allegations of phone hacking in February this year. He was not charged with any offence and has always denied any involvement in the practice.

Facing a predictable backlash from his Twitter followers, he quickly responded with the following: “Amazing how many ‘saints’ on here would dump their friends the moment they faced their toughest times. Thank god you're not MY friends!”

Video: The PM issues a 'full and frank' apology

Meanwhile, the former Conservative MP Louise Mensch echoed Morgan’s sentiments, describing Coulson – also the former director of communications to David Cameron  – as a man she’d “always admired”.

Mensch21.JPGShe also made reference to Hugh Grant's anti-phone hacking pressure group, Hacked Off, with the following:


Brooks seemed to receive support from her close friend and fellow member of the Chipping Norton set Jeremy Clarkson, who simply had the following to say:


Their comments come after Prime Minister David Cameron issued a “full and frank apology” to the nation after Coulson, his former director of communications was found guilty of conspiracy to hack phones at the Old Bailey.

Coulson quit his role as Downing Street spin doctor shortly before he was arrested over the phone-hacking scandal in January 2011.

The Prime Minister said today that he took “full responsibility” for Coulson's appointment, and that he had received assurances which have now proved to be false.

Speaking in the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street, Mr Cameron said he had hired Coulson “on the basis of undertakings I was given by him about phone hacking”.

“I always said that if they turned out to be wrong, I would make a full and frank apology and I did that today.

“I am extremely sorry that I employed him. It was the wrong decision and I am very clear about that.”

Coulson now faces the possibility of jail.