David Cameron’s Friends Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks charged in Operation Elveden

Ex-Downing Street communications chief Andy Coulson and ex-News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, both close friends of British Prime Minister David Cameron,  have been charged over payments to police and public officials.

Journalists Clive Goodman and John Kay and MoD employee Bettina Jordan-Barber also face charges, the CPS says.

Mr Coulson, who was editor of the News of the World before moving to Downing Street, says he denies the allegations.

Operation Elveden is the Met Police investigation into corrupt payments.

Mr Coulson has been charged with two conspiracies relating to the request and authorisation of alleged payments to public officials in exchange for information – including a royal phone directory known as the “Green Book”.

It is said to have contained contact details for the Royal Family and members of the household.

Mr Goodman, a former royal correspondent at the now-defunct News of the World, is to face the same charges, the CPS says.

These two counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office involve one between 31 August 2002 and 31 January 2003 and another between 31 January and 3 June 2005.

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