Andy Coulson will leave the Tories and set up his own PR agency. Or will he?

The Independent on Sunday is reporting that Tory comms director Andy Coulson will not follow David Cameron in to Downing Street.

Instead, he will set up a PR agency.

According to the paper: ‘A source close to Mr Coulson said he had indicated his intention to step down after the election. The source said: “There are rumours that he would go back to journalism but it’s highly unlikely. It’s much more likely that he will go into PR and set up his own firm.’

Coulson has not confirmed or denied, but Tory insiders have speculated for months that the former News of the World editor will set up his own PR/public affairs shop rather than join Dave in Downing Street. And if Coulson does turn his back on the Tories, then Boris Johnson’s comms chief Guto Harri is a good bet to land the Downing Street comms director role, having narrowly missed out on Coulson’s job back in 2007.

So does today’s report confirm that Coulson is off? Not according to Ben Brogan.

The Telegraph man blogs: ‘Unless something has changed dramatically in CCHQ in recent weeks, I reckon Mr Coulson plans to stick around. He is well aware that it would seem odd to drop out just when his man reaches the Downing Street doorstep… His decision – taken some weeks ago – is good news for Mr Cameron…’

Perhaps Guto will have a fight on his hands after all…


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