In the past few minutes, David Cameron has apologised in Downing Street for a ‘wrong decision’ in hiring Andy Coulson. He said in 2011 that he would apologise if he had been lied to about phone hacking, and now he has. It wasn’t the longest of apologies, but it came quickly. He said:

‘Well, I take full responsibility for employing Andy Coulson, I did so on the basis of undertakings I was given by him about phone hacking and those turn out not to be the case. I always said that if they turned out to be wrong, I would make a full and frank apology and I do that today. I’m extremely sorry that I employed him, it was the wrong decision, and I’m very clear about that.

‘We covered all this in the Leveson inquiry; I asked him questions about if he knew about phone hacking, and he said that he didn’t and I accepted those assurances and I gave him the job.

‘I would say that no one has made any complaints about the work that he did for me – either as leader of the opposition or indeed here in No 10 Downing Street. But knowing what I now know, knowing that those assurances weren’t right, it was obviously wrong to employ him. I gave someone a second chance, it turned out to be a bad decision.’

Tags: Andy Coulson, David Cameron, Phone hacking, UK politics