Andy Coulson and Andy Hayman: Friends

Posted by Tim Ireland at December 13, 2010

Category: Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, Tories! Tories! Tories!

This entry was posted on
Monday, December 13th, 2010
1:35 pm and is filed
under Old Media, Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch, Tories! Tories! Tories!.

[UPDATE (27 Jan 2010) NEW POST –Andy Coulson: innocent until proven guilty]

To follow this recent post about John Lennon, and in response to the perfectly formed announcement of Andy Coulson’s complete and total innocence, I thought I would blog something about true friendship, because I’ve seen evidence that it can exist between tabloid scum and (some) public figures… – Coulson knew officer in phone hacking affair

Andy Coulson, the former editor of the News of the World, said on Friday he was on friendly terms with the senior police officer who oversaw a criminal investigation that sent one of his reporters to prison for hacking into the mobile phones of the royal household.

Giving evidence to a Scottish criminal court, Mr Coulson said he remembered having tea with former assistant commissioner Andy Hayman and “may well have had lunch with him” as well.

But he denied that he had been in possession of personal information about the officer that the News of the World could have used to prevent Mr Hayman mounting a thorough investigation of the scandal.

Of course he didn’t have dirt on the man; that’s not how friends behave.

Let me show you how friends behave:

In 2005, Andy Coulson was editor of News of the World, and Andy Hayman was head of Specialist Operations, leading the investigation into the London bombings of July 2005.

An innocent man by the name of Jean Charles de Menezes was shot on Hayman’s watch. Here’s how Andy Coulson shaped the response:

Andy Coulson: friends

Click for hi-res if you wish to read the full article.

As you can see, the headline doesn’t read ‘police kill innocent man’; instead, it offers readers a decidedly (ahem) loaded question. The article also seeks to lead the public with a series of mitigating circumstances that would go some way to excusing what police had done… if any of it were true:

– The article states as fact that Jean Charles de Menezes was wearing “a bulky winter coat despite the warm weather” (i.e. something conspicuous that might have hidden a bomb belt). He wasn’t.

– The article states as fact that the police shouted a challenge to Jean Charles de Menezes “screaming for him to stop”. They hadn’t.

– The article states as fact that Jean Charles de Menezes then “made the decision that cost him his life” and “vaulted over the ticket barrier and ran down the escalator”. He didn’t.

As you can see, when police shot an innocent man and Andy Hayman’s arse was on the line, Andy Coulson acted like a true friend; rather than rely on any of the investigative journalism that News of the World is supposed to be famous for, Coulson chose instead to take a friend at his word and not bother looking at or into any of the pesky detail.

Later, in 2006, Andy Coulson was editor of News of the World, and Andy Hayman was the officer in charge of the inquiry into the News of the World phone hacking affair

When it was suspected that News of the World had targeted hundreds if not thousands of innocent people and Andy Coulson’s arse was on the line, Andy Hayman acted like a true friend; rather than rely on any of the investigative skills the police are supposed to be famous for, Hayman chose instead to take a friend at his word and not bother looking at or into any of the pesky detail:

Guardian – Police ‘ignored News of the World phone hacking evidence’

Police who investigated the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World obtained previously undisclosed telephone records which showed a vast number of public figures had had their voicemail accessed – and then decided not to pursue the evidence…

Guardian – Phone-hacking inquiry left a mountain of evidence unexplored

Here’s the riddle. If the Guardian, the New York Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches can all find numerous journalists who worked at the News of the World who without exception insist that the newspaper routinely used private investigators to gather information by illegal means, why can’t Scotland Yard find a single one who will tell them the story?

In their original inquiry into the phone-hacking affair, in 2006, detectives arrested the paper’s royal correspondent, Clive Goodman, and charged him with listening to messages on the royal household’s mobile phones. Goodman refused to answer questions.

Scotland Yard then interviewed not one single other journalist, editor or manager from the paper. Detectives took this decision despite holding evidence that – we now know – clearly identified other News of the World journalists who were involved in handling illegally intercepted voicemail.

In their recent inquiry, which ended fruitlessly last week, they attempted to interview only three journalists, all of whom were identified for them by news organisations.

They approached those three not as witnesses but as suspects, warning them that anything they said could be used to prosecute them: two gave interviews in which they declined to answer questions; the third challenged them to arrest him in handcuffs, and so they never even spoke to him.

There are some who might describe this as something dangerously close to corruption, but obviously such people are reactionary leftist scum with an anti-Murdoch agenda…. the same type of people who would dare to raise an eyebrow at Hayman later leaving the police to work for News International as a columnist.

Clearly, what we are looking at here is nothing more than innocent goodwill shared between two men who know and trust that their good friend is on the level. Surely this is a quality to be applauded in these deeply cynical times.

*See also: Bloggerheads – News of the World vs. Big Society: snakes in the grass

Related blogagge: Septicisle – Coulson in knowing nothing shocker

UPDATE (27 Jan 2010) NEW POST –Andy Coulson: innocent until proven guilty


  1. 5cc says

    Let’s not forget Andy Hayman’s involvement in the Forest Gate Raid, a raid that the News of the World managed to misreport, claiming that one of the brothers involved shot his own brother when in fact the police had.

    Coulson really is a true friend.

  2. rob says

    Do they share funny handshakes by any chance?

  3. Bangkok Blogger says

    You couldn't make it up!

  4. Sam says

    Without sites like this, so much would be easily forgotten. Thanks for doing the research and making it current again.

  5. Guest says

    Someone in the UK should forward this article to Tom Watson along with this one:

    • Tim_Ireland says

      Already done. Cheers.

  6. Guest says

    Not saying you're a liar or anything but could you show some sources that confirm the 'facts' in the NOTW article were wrong?

    • Tim_Ireland says

      I normally link to such sources, but didn't see the need when it involved the outcome of a well-documented and widely-publicised inquest. The bulk of it is accessible via this round-up on Wikipedia (keeping in mind that Wikipedia is not the source, but a plain-English a stepping stone to same), and I will quote the relevant passages to make it more accessible to the casual browser

      "The pathologist's post mortem report, which was written five days after the shooting, recorded that Jean “vaulted over the ticket barriers” and that he “ran down the stairs of the tube station”. Dr Kenneth Shorrock later told the inquest that he had been given this information by police during a "walk-through" with officers at Stockwell Tube Station but he could not remember who had given him this incorrect information, which had also featured in earliest eye-witness reports. It had been suggested that the man reported by eyewitnesses as jumping over the barrier may have been one of the police officers in pursuit."

      "According to the report on leaked IPCC documents, Menezes was wearing a pair of jeans and a light denim jacket. This was confirmed by a photo of his body on the floor of the carriage after the shooting."

      "In its open verdict on Friday, 12 December 2008 the jury decided 8 to 2 that no shouted warning had been given."

      "The Menezes' family were briefed by the police that their son did not jump over the ticket barrier and may have used a Travelcard to pass through; this was subsequently confirmed by CCTV recordings shown at the Metropolitan Police trial."

      • Guest says

        Thanks for that. I'd not read much about the case apart from when it was in the news and didn't recall any of these details. I'd say it was a good idea to link to sources when you're saying others are incorrect though!

        • Tim_Ireland says

          Cheers. As I said, I usually do.

  7. @msamandaraymond says

    Good god, this stinks to high heaven, but I think it goes a lot further then just taking their word for it

  8. Breeze says

    Quality stuff, Tim. I seem to remember that the CCTV footage from the station in the Menezes mysteriously disappeared. Is that correct?

    • Tim_Ireland says

      At present, the best anyone can tell us is that it should exist, and probably would exist if it weren't for a series of unconnected technical failures:

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