13 Jun 2012

‘Robust’ Jeremy Hunt expected in the Commons shortly

Jeremy Hunt intends to be “robust” in his Commons appearance today which should get under way around 1.30 or so.

His last big Commons outing, defending himself as the allegations swirled, was thought – even by admirers – to be a wash-out; Tory MPs muttering they were “selling shares in Hunt” as they left the chamber.

Mr Hunt has been told that Nick Clegg told Lib Dem MPs last night that Mr Hunt was “one of the good guys” amongst Tory ministers.

There’s amazement in Tory ranks at how Nick Clegg and certain senior Lib Dems, including Don Foster (there’s no Lib Dem minister in the culture team so he’s the liaison man) spun round, and called for Mr Hunt to be referred to Alex Allan for investigation under the ministerial code.

Expect a good turnout of Tory MPs – in one case dragged from the honeymoon bed – roaring support for their guy.

Ed Miliband’s got hold of a note sent to Tory MPs calling on them to show more “stamina” shouting support for the PM throughout PMQs; a similar message will have gone out over the Hunt debate.

The vote on the Commons debate should come around 4.30pm.

The PM announced at PMQs that Alex Allan has written to him to say “I do not believe that I could usefully add to the facts in this (the Jeremy Hunt) case.”

Well, that’s not quite what Alex Allan wrote – his words were:

“The fact that there is an on-going judicial Inquiry probing and taking evidence under oath means that I do not believe that I could usefully add to the facts in this case though I remain available should circumstances change or new evidence emerge.”

I wonder what Alex Allan thinks of that representation of his thoughts?

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