UK & World News
Coalition's Private Tensions Revealed Over Hunt
The decision by the Liberal Democrats to abstain on the Labour motion that Jeremy Hunt should be investigated reveals arguments that have previously been held in private.
Labour wants Mr Hunt referred to the Prime Minister's adviser on the Ministerial Code Sir Alex Allen.
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg was reported to be furious when, within minutes of Jeremy Hunt giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry, Downing Street issued a statement saying the Prime Minister would not refer Mr Hunt to Mr Allen.
Mr Clegg believes Jeremy Hunt should have been investigated to see whether or not he misled parliament over his relationship with News Corp and News International executives, in particular News Corp lobbyist Frederic Michel.
He also holds Mr Hunt should be questioned on whether he was in breach of the Code because of the closeness to News Corp of his special adviser Adam Smith, who subsequently resigned and for whom Mr Hunt was responsible.
Mr Hunt maintains that, whatever his own views on the BSkyB bid, he acted impartially, in a "quasi-judicial" role, in considering the bid.
Some angry Tory backbenchers point out that Jeremy Hunt would not have been in this position if it was not for the behaviour of Lib Dem Cabinet minister Vince Cable, who was stripped of his oversight of the bid after revealing to undercover reporters his own anti-Murdoch bias.
Others, however, are uncomfortable with David Cameron's decision to refer Baroness Warsi to Sir Alex Allen but not Jeremy Hunt.
Senior Lib Dems and Conservatives are nonetheless playing down the rift, which some commentators believe reveals a deeper vein of discontent within the coalition and more profound tensions between the coalition partners.
On a personal level, Nick Clegg and Jeremy Hunt meet every week at Cabinet meetings, which could be pretty uncomfortable following what some Tories regard as an act of disloyalty by the Lib Dems.
By happy coincidence, it is also Nick Clegg's turn to appear at Leveson.
He will argue that the Lib Dems did not sup at the Murdoch table (though, as many are pointing out, they were probably never invited), but that is merely the curtain raiser to the main event on Thursday when David Cameron will give his evidence to Lord Justice Leveson's Inquiry.
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what do you think?
I would not believe any thing NICK THE LIER CALAMITY CLEGG say, Remember tuition fees.
Would,nt trust either.
You can't trust ANY of them
Further rifts slowly developing in the 'coalition of incompetent rich kids'. This government is so weak and so, unfortunately, is the opposition. The sooner the unions break away from Labour and form our own party, the better.
Frankly, once again we have an example of Cameron's extremely poor judgement and lack of political vision or ability. Hunt seems smug and arrogant, confident that he will be OK. I have no time for Clegg, but this is a marriage made in hell. The sooner we get back to honest politics the better. There is so much that needs to be sorted out.