The Andy Coulson affair has put a strain on the relationship between Number 10 and the political media. Those deputed to speak for Andy were put in the position of having to deny he was under pressure – just days before he walked.
The atmosphere in the Press Gallery is not yet as poisonous as it was before Alastair Campbell’s resignation in 2003. However, David Cameron should be mindful of the parallels and promote a non-political career civil servant to fill some of Andy’s duties.
There will still be the need to recruit a senior figure to advise on strategic political media, the bookies suggesting a small list of flamboyant former political journalists. Such figures can provide a boost for leaders of the opposition. But PMs can benefit little from spin doctors who are predestined to become stories of their own.Read more