Watchdog rules out Andy Coulson investigation
Tuesday 30 August 2011
The Electoral Commission will not open an investigation into payments made to David Cameron's former spin doctor Andy Coulson by his former employer News International.
Mr Coulson received the payments after quitting as News of the World editor as the phone hacking scandal engulfed the now-defunct tabloid.
The watchdog has said there was "no evidence" to suggest that strict rules relating to political party finances had been breached.
Mr Coulson was hired by the Tories in July 2007 on a reported salary of £275,000, six months after he quit as editor of the Sunday newspaper when its royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were jailed for phone hacking.
It was reported last week that for several months after he started his new role, the spin chief was still receiving instalments of money as full settlement of his two-year contract.
Mr Coulson continued to work for Mr Cameron in Downing Street as No 10's communications chief until he quit in January this year as the phone hacking scandal refused to die down.
Labour MP Tom Watson wrote to the Commission questioning whether the severance pay effectively part-funded Mr Coulson's salary.
But a spokeswoman for the watchdog said: "There is no evidence to suggest that there has been a breach of the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act.
"We won't be opening a case review in to the allegation."
Wellcome Image Awards: The most striking images from the world of science, including breast cancer cells under chemical attack and a photographer’s own kidney stone
Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Terrorism explanation 'cannot be ruled out', says CIA
Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow
Oscar Pistorius murder trial: Athlete repeatedly sick as court hears 'graphic details' of Reeva Steenkamp's post-mortem
How climate change helped Genghis Khan: Scientists believe a sudden period of warmer weather allowed the Mongols to invade with such success
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 1 Bad cattitude: Family call police after crazed and 'hostile cat with a history of violence' attacks baby before attempting to 'flee custody'
- 2 Family forced to flee home after discovering 'terrifying' nest of spiders in bananas
- 3 First Kiss: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 4 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 5 Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow