Hague Says Cameron Meeting With Coulson At Chequers Was 'Normal, Human Thing To Do'
Foreign Secretary William Hague has defended David Cameron's decision to invite his former press chief and former-News of the World editor Andy Coulson to Chequers weeks after accepting his resignation.
Cameron met Coulson at Chequers for lunch after in March, Government documents show. Downing Street said that Cameron had invited his former press chief "friend" and had paid for the lunch himself.
The released list of meetings Cameron had with press figures also showed an unpublicised meeting with James Murdoch.
Speaking to Sky News, Hague said the invitation was nothing more than "a normal, human thing to do".
In another interview with BBC Radio 4, Hague said: "In inviting Andy Coulson back the Prime Minister has invited someone back to thank him for his work who worked for him for several years that is a normal human thing to do, I think that shows a positive side to his character and actions."
Deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats Simon Hughes also refused to denounce Cameron's decision:
"If you have a loyalty and an obligation to somebody who worked for you, and did a good job then, whatever the implication might be, you might want honourably to support them and say thank you."
John Prescott told BBC News that the meetings were a mistake, and showed the prime minster was too close to the Murdochs.
Prescott said: "I think it shows the lack of judgement by the Prime Minister Cameron, we all thought it was up to the period when he made his statement about things were wrong but he's now continued the dinners and the meetings and he's very much wrapped into the Murdoch operations."