As it happened: Andy Coulson at Leveson Inquiry

Key points

  • Andy Coulson - former editor of the News of the World - has given evidence to the Leveson Inquiry
  • He revealed he held stocks in News Corporation worth £40,000 while working as the prime minister's press chief
  • But he denied he was hired by David Cameron because of his links to News International

Live text

Reporting:

  • Victoria King 
  • Paul Gribben 

Last updated 10 May 2012

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Hello and welcome to our live coverage of Andy Coulson's long-awaited appearance before the Leveson Inquiry into media standards. We're expecting the former News of the World editor to begin his evidence after lunch - before that Lord Justice Leveson is introducing the next phase - or module - of the inquiry, which focuses on the relationship between press and politicians.

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The judge says he will not address "certain issues" with Andy Coulson and former Sun editor Rebekah Brooks when they give evidence because of a fear of putting the ongoing police investigation into phone hacking "in peril".

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He also says he will not make any judgement about whether Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt breached the ministerial code. Remember, Mr Hunt is under fire over whether he properly handled the bid by News Corp to take over BSkyB.

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Lead counsel for the inquiry, Robert Jay, has now taken over and is giving his introduction to the next phase of the inquiry.

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Just one thing from this morning's earlier evidence. Lord Justice Leveson said he was starting an investigation into how the Independent on Sunday newspaper got hold of parts of Andy Coulson's witness statement to the inquiry ahead of his appearance. We're expecting to hear more about that issue at some stage in the day.

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Mr Jay says there's a risk that relations between the press and politicians can become "incestuous and self-serving".

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Just in from our political correspondent Iain Watson, who's been at the daily Downing Street briefing. The PM's spokesman was asked if David Cameron would watch Andy Coulson's evidence, to which he replied: "I don't expect him to spend the afternoon in front of the TV."

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Mr Jay is going back through the history books, talking about discussions between Rupert Murdoch and Margaret Thatcher in 1981. He comments on Mr Murdoch's "selective amnesia" on the subject when he gave evidence to the inquiry himself. He also says politicians will "fly halfway around the world" to win the Sun's support.

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The real power of Associated Newspapers - owners of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday - is that they are a "litmus test" for the opinion of middle England, Mr Jay says.

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