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Andy Coulson, late of News of the World, was paid by NotW parent company News International for several years after leaving the company. And he left the company to work as communications chief for the Conservative Party of Prime Minister David Cameron. And he lied to Parliament about that money.

TPM: The BBC reports that after he left News Of The World, Coulson received a severance package of several hundred thousand pounds that was paid in installments until the end of 2007, after he had already been working for now Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party. Coulson also received health care benefits for three years, and got to keep his company car.
BBC: Labour said the issue raised "serious questions", but the Tories said they had no prior knowledge of the deal.

Mr Coulson was arrested earlier this year in connection with phone hacking.

BBC by way of TPM.

TPM: In 2009, Coulson denied to Parliament that he was receiving any form of "secondary income," and that his "sole income" at the time was from the Conservative Party.

That is true only if you don't count paid health care benefits as income. Otherwise Mr. Coulson lied to Parliament - I do not know if he was under oath, but if I understand correctly, in England it's still a crime to lie to Parliament even when not sworn.

MP Tom Watson, who has been helping lead the charge against Sir Rupert and his minions, had this to say.

Labour MP Tom Watson called on the Electoral Commission to investigate the legality of the payments. "Given that Andy Coulson resigned in disgrace from the News of the World over the phone-hacking scandal," Watson said, "he took responsibility for what happened on his watch - his words, not mine - it seems remarkable that News International would feel obliged to give him any payments at all."

Watson added: "And if those payments were discretionary then I think in law they would count as a hidden donation."

More below the Orange Squiggle of Power.

BBC: Mr Coulson was hired by the then opposition Conservative party in July 2007 for a reported salary of £275,000.

He had quit as NoW editor six months earlier when its royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were jailed for hacking into the voicemails of Buckingham Palace staff.

Mr Coulson resigned from his government post in January, saying pressure over phone hacking was distracting him from his role.

Then last month he was arrested on suspicion of corruption and phone hacking and released on police bail until October.

For those who don't know, a pound sterling is worth somewhere between $1.50 and $2.00, depending on how the foreign exchange markets are doing. So £275,000 is real money. As Tom Watson observes, it is a good question why a man who resigned because of serious misconduct on his watch should receive a generous severance package, including keeping his company car (probably NOT a Trabant) and health care coverage for 3 years.

And of course that Mr. Coulson felt it was necessary to lie to Parliament about this back in 2009 indicates to this non-legal-eagle writer that a coverup began back in 2006 and has continued to the present. Which in turn implies a criminal conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice, which may be called something else in the UK.

Troubles continue for the Murdoch clan.

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