June 24, 2014 / 2:06 PM / 4 years ago

UK's Cameron has questions to answer over ex-media chief -rival

LONDON, June 24 (Reuters) - Ed Miliband, the leader of Britain’s opposition Labour party, on Tuesday said Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron had serious questions to answer after a court found Cameron’s ex-media chief guilty of being part of a phone-hacking conspiracy.

Miliband has long questioned Cameron’s judgment over Andy Coulson who resigned as editor of Rupert Murdoch’s now defunct News of the World newspaper in 2007 when two of its employees were jailed for phone-hacking before Cameron hired him.

In a TV statement, Miliband accused Cameron of allowing his friendly ties to Murdoch, who controls several British media outlets, to impair his judgment when it came to assessing allegations that Coulson had been involved in phone-hacking.

“I believe this isn’t just a serious error of judgement. This taints David Cameron’s government because we now know that he put his relationship with Rupert Murdoch ahead of doing the right thing when it came to Andy Coulson,” said Miliband.

Less than two hours after the verdict, Cameron issued what he called a “full and frank” apology, saying he had taken Coulson’s assurances of innocence at the time at face value, something he now realised was a mistake.

Miliband said the apology was insufficient, that Cameron had brought a criminal into the heart of government, and that he now owed the nation a more detailed explanation. (Reporting by William James; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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