Yvette Cooper MP, Labour's Shadow Home Secretary, responding to evidence from Asst Commissioner John Yates and Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and the revelation that they were advised to not bring up phone hacking in briefing to or the appointment of Neil Wallis with the Prime Minister by Ed Llewellyn, his own Chief of Staff, said:
“This is astonishing. Twice the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff was offered important information that affects this phone hacking crisis. Twice he refused to pass it to the Prime Minister.
“After the election he was given serious warnings about Andy Coulson, and in November he was offered information about police action on new allegations. Surely the Prime Minister needed to be told, especially as on both occasions it had serious implications for the Prime Minister's judgement in continuing to employ Andy Coulson.
“David Cameron needs to explain urgently whether he backs these decisions by his chief of staff. Was Ed Llewellyn trying to protect David Cameron and Andy Coulson, or was he rejecting information because he knew the Prime Minister's relationship with Andy Coulson compromised his position?
“Yesterday the Home Secretary told me she had “concerns” that the Met had not informed the Government about the potential conflict of interest for the Met involving Neil Wallis. Sir Paul Stephenson told us on Sunday that he did not do so because of the relationship between the Prime Minister and Andy Coulson. Now we know this reflected the concern of Number 10 officials to keeping information from the Prime Minister.
“This shows that David Cameron's misjudgement in appointing Andy Coulson created serious problems at the heart of the Government forcing senior Downing Street officials and the head of the Metropolitan Police to keep important information from the elected Prime Minister because of concerns that he was or could become compromised.”