Yesterday it was Metropolitan Police commissioner Stephenson who fell on his sword. Today his second in command, assistant commissioner Paul Yates, also resigned.
Events are spinning out of control so quickly that Conservative prime minister David Cameron has cut short an African trip and ordered Parliament back to debate the News International scandal.
Speaking in South Africa, Mr. Cameron said Parliament would be extended beyond the start of its scheduled summer recess for an emergency session on Wednesday, a day after Mr. Murdoch, his son James and Ms. Brooks are set to testify to a parliamentary inquiry into the scandal.
Labour leader, Ed Miliband appears to be reversing his party's fortunes by his handling of the scandal and he pulled no punches in taking Cameron to task for his involvement:
“It is of great concern,” Mr. Miliband said in a speech, “that the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police was unable to discuss vital issues with the Prime Minister because he felt that David Cameron was himself compromised on this issue because of Andy Coulson.”
He added: “It is also striking that Sir Paul Stephenson has taken responsibility and resigned over the employment of Mr. Coulson’s deputy, while the Prime Minister hasn’t even apologized for hiring Mr. Coulson.”
The Conservatives cling to power only with the support of an increasingly disaffected Liberal Democrat caucus. If they revolt, Cameron could fall.