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Thursday, July 21, 2011 

Undeveloped vetting.

I know, I know, yet another post on phone hacking. It does though seem absolutely remarkable, to say the least, that Andy Coulson we now learn didn't undergo "developed vetting", the highest level of security clearance, which would have given him full access to material deemed to be "top secret". It also looks incredibly damaging that both Coulson's deputy and his successor have indeed undergone DV, as it seems did all of the communications directors under Labour. Alastair Campbell would presumably have had the most to worry about, considering he had both experienced severe depression and was a recovering alcoholic, yet he obviously passed. Why on earth would Coulson not go through it unless it was suspected his time at the News of the World would either expose him unreasonably to blackmail or uncover something that would need him to not just forgo access to secret documents but to resign entirely? Raising the £500 cost and that there was little need for him to go through vetting as there was nothing happening which required such clearance is just about as ludicrous as any explanation given through this whole affair.

Whether eventually those within Downing Street will turn on each other as it now seems those formerly at the NotW have begun to remains to be seen. Apart from resulting in the tearing up of the contract under which Glenn Mulcaire was continuing to have his legal fees paid for by News International, as had long been suspected, meaning he now has no reason whatsoever not to tell the police all that went on at the Screws, the Murdochs session before the culture committee on Tuesday has now also led Colin Myler and Tom Crone to query James' evidence that he didn't know about the "for Neville" email when he settled the Gordon Taylor case. The "for Neville" email was the smoking gun which proved the phone hacking at the paper had gone beyond Clive Goodman and Mulcaire, and for James to have seen it means he should have at least queried whether there was more to come out. It also discredits his evidence that he was told the settlement was just a hangover from the criminal prosecution.

This isn't even close to being over, however much some now want the whole affair to fade into the background.

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