DAVID Cameron was in contrite mood yesterday in the House of Commons. He did not adopt Rupert Murdoch's humble mode of the previous day but said clearly that he was extremely sorry about the furore that has been caused over his employment of Andy Coulson as his communications advisor in 2007 and as his press secretary at No 10 Downing Street in 2009.
He said he would make a profound apology if it turns out that Mr Coulson knew about the phone-hacking when he was editor of the News of the World but denied that in his talks with Mr Cameron.
If that is how it does indeed turn out I doubt that a profound apology from Mr Cameron will be sufficient.
Prime ministers have to make crucial decisions all the time and those involving judgement of people they can put their trust in are among the most important. It has to be remembered that Mr Cameron need not have taken Mr Coulson into No 10 with him and at least three well informed people tried to advise that he should not do so.
They were blocked by Ed Llewellyn, the PM's chief of staff who apparently did not even mention the matter to Mr Cameron -- another decision which needs explanation. Unless this matter is cleared up conclusively Mr Cameron may well face serious calls for his resignation.