Coulson was Cameron’s Chequers guest

By Alex Stevenson

David Cameron's former director of communications Andy Coulson stayed at Chequers as recently as this March, it has emerged.

Former News of the World editor Mr Coulson quit his Downing Street job on January 21st, prompting questions about Mr Cameron's judgment in hiring him at No 10.

He has been arrested in connection with the Metropolitan police's Operation Weeting investigating the phone-hacking scandal and bailed until this October.

News that Mr Cameron has maintained a relationship with Mr Coulson after the latter's exit from Downing Street has led to further criticism.

"This is yet more evidence of an extraordinary lack of judgment by David Cameron," shadow culture secretary Ivan Lewis said.

"He hosted Andy Coulson at Chequers after, in the prime minister's own words, Mr Coulson's second chance hadn't worked out.

"David Cameron may think that this is a good day to bury bad news but he now has an increasing number of serious questions to answer."

No 10 said the visit was to express thanks to Mr Coulson for his work with Mr Cameron.

"If it had been me then I don't think I would have wanted to have a relationship quite so intimate," former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell told the BBC.

"We're now in a set of circumstances where the bonds of friendship however strong can't stand in the way of a proper resolution of these issues."

The prime minister repeatedly insisted in PMQs earlier this week that he believes Mr Coulson should be viewed as innocent until he is proven guilty.

Downing Street also released full lists of all of the prime minister's guests at Chequers since May 2010.

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, who resigned from the post earlier today, visited in June 2010 and August 2010. James Murdoch and Kathryn Murdoch, his wife, were guests in November last year.

A separate list of Mr Cameron's meetings with proprietors, editors and senior media executives was also published.

Around 15 items on the list covered the prime minister's meetings with Rupert Murdoch and his employees.

These include five meetings with Ms Brooks, a 'general discussion' with Rupert Murdoch in May 2010 and another 'general discussion' with News of the world editor Colin Myler in July 2010.

In a statement to MPs on Wednesday Mr Cameron proposed amending the ministerial code to require all Cabinet-level ministers to publish all meetings with senior media figures on a quarterly basis.

"The government will be open about its links with the media," the proposed amended code reads.

"All meetings with newspaper and other media proprietors, editors and senior executives will be published quarterly regardless of the purpose of the meeting."