“You are looking at a Conservative leadership which, socially speaking, is from a fairly narrow – some would say almost exclusive – background,” says Time Bale, a professor of politics at the University of Sussex, of why Coulson is so often described as "crucial" to Cameron’s premiership.
From an early childhood spent in a public housing development in Essex, Coulson scaled the heights of Rupert Murdoch’s British tabloid media empire before overseeing an often-controversial reign at the News of the World. He later masterminded the Conservative Party’s media strategy in last year’s general election.
“The fact that they can rely on someone who was more in touch with Middle England, if you want to call it that, and parts of England that the Conservative Party found it difficult to reach, was quite important to them,” added Dr. Bale.
He also credits Coulson with being "an excellent media operator," citing his role in the salvaging of Conservative’s fortunes in the middle of 2007 when their hopes of winning government appeared to be slipping away as Gordon Brown enjoyed a bounce in popularity shortly after becoming prime minister.
Of course, not everyone agrees.
Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s former communications chief whose own tabloid background has often led him to be compared to Coulson, used Twitter to decry: "Dreadful news management by Cameron's team."