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The blogs react to Andy Coulson's departure

Tim Montgomerie selects the best blogosphere reaction to Andy Coulson's resignation.

Sky News' Adam Boulton offers high praise: "I speak as I find, and I found Andy Coulson one of the most straight-dealing, effective and constructive Downing Street communications chiefs I have deal with since I first was confronted by Bernard Ingham... Coulson was good at his job, so he's bound to be a loss for Cameron. The PM will certainly the miss the common touch of this self-made man, so much of whose personality was expressed in the natty monochrome suit, coat and tie combo he donned for his last exit from Number 10."

Iain Martin noted that Andy Coulson never over-reached: "Despite robust tabloid views, on crime and tax, he isn’t all that ideological and is pretty pragmatic. He mainly restricted himself to specific media and strategic advice — how stuff would play in the press, what to emphasize, who was a problem, and in government on restructuring the Downing Street spin operation after Labour."

Screen shot 2011-01-21 at 22.27.24 Nick Watt blogs that Cameron's confidence in Coulson remains high: "It is a measure of David Cameron's admiration for Andy Coulson that the prime minister was happy to see him walk out of the front door of No 10 into the glare of photographers' flashbulbs this evening. Coulson, who will leave No 10 for good in a few weeks weeks time, could have slipped out through the entrance to the cabinet office on Whitehall. But the prime minister clearly wanted to signal that, in his eyes, there is no stain on Coulson's reputation."

Gary Gibbon for Channel 4 on the Hilton/ Coulson tensions: "What we do know for sure is that David Cameron will be gutted to lose him. People who watch the two of them at work together in Downing Street say David Cameron deferred to Andy Coulson’s judgement more than any other single individual’s. In a circle peppered with people from privileged backgrounds, he was thought to have a better feel for the sort of voters who buy tabloids. For many Tories, already fed up with what they see as the dilution of Conservative values, it was reassuring to know that he was a voice in David Cameron’s ear to balance Steve Hilton’s more tree-hugging and hoody-hugging voice in the other ear."

Cranmer also saw Coulson whispering in Cameron's ear and fears his departure coincides with grave challenges for the Coalition government: "Like Lear’s Fool, Andy Coulson was at David Cameron’s side constantly; whispering wisdom, imparting insight, with pointed quips and intelligent utterances which all kings need to hear if they are to rule effectively... Lear’s Fool mysteriously vanishes from the stage after the storm scene. The concern for Mr Cameron is that his fool has bowed out before the thunder and lightning of the imminent hurricane..."

Fiona Melville on Platform10 wants Coulson's replacement to address the narrative deficit: "There is no overall narrative for what the government is doing – no attempt to hang everything together based on devolving power and control."

As for replacements Andrew Porter points towards the civil service. He blogs that David Cameron holds his civil servants "in awe". Yikes!


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