London, Jan 22 (ANI): Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson has resigned amid growing controversy over his role in a phone hacking scandal while he was a British tabloid editor.
Coulson confirmed his resignation in a statement on Friday, saying that the continued coverage of events during his time as the editor of 'News of the World' had made it difficult for him to give "the 110 per cent needed in this role".
"I stand by what I've said about those events but when the spokesman needs a spokesman it's time to move on," The Telegraph quoted him, as saying.
Following his resignation, Cameron said that he was sorry over Coulson's departure, and added that he was "punished for the same offence twice". Last week Cameron had refused to confirm or deny reports that his communications director had offered to resign to help the coalition avoid further damage over the issue.
However Cameron admitted that Coulson was "extremely embarrassed" about claims that he knew famous people's phone voicemails were being accessed.
Insisting that the resignation was "long overdue", critics said that they fail to understand why Cameron had recruited the former journalist in the first place.
Coulson resigned as editor of the News of the World in 2007 after the paper's former royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were jailed for phone hacking. Although he accepted ultimate responsibility for the scandal, he has always denied knowing that illegal activities were taking place.
A number of public figures are still taking civil legal action against the newspaper, as documents disclosed in those cases have sparked fresh developments. (ANI)