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Tories appoint former tabloid editor as chief spin doctor

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The Conservatives have appointed former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, who resigned after his paper was embroiled in a royal phone-tapping scandal, as its new director of communications.

Coulson, 39, quit from the UK's biggest selling paper in January after its royal affairs editor confessed to intercepting voice mail messages sent to senior royal aides, Reuters reports.

Clive Goodman was jailed for four months after he was convicted of intercepting messages meant for Prince Charles press secretary and officials in the staff of Princes Harry and William.

An investigation by the Press Complaints Commission cleared Coulson or News of the World of wrongdoing. It blamed the maverick (and illegal) news gathering tactics employed by Goodman. Coulson is due to start work with the Tories on 9 July. ®

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