| 16.4°C Dublin

Cameron's spokesman steps down after committing the 'cardinal sin'

David Cameron's top spin doctor resigned yesterday amid claims he sanctioned widespread illegal phone hacking against politicians, celebrities and royalty when he was editor of the 'News of the World'.

Andy Coulson denies any knowledge of the hacking, but admitted he'd committed a cardinal sin for a back room operator -- he became the story.

Mr Coulson said: "Continued coverage of events connected to my old job at the 'News of the World' has made it difficult for me to give the 110pc needed" in his role as Downing Street communications chief.

"When the spokesman needs a spokesman, it's time to move on," he said.

A reporter and a private investigator working for the paper were caught eavesdropping on the phones of the British royal family's entourage in 2007.

Mr Coulson quit the newspaper when the pair were convicted, but says he knew nothing of the hacking.

Irish Independent