Leveson: it’s a good thing Nick Clegg was there

Today’s latest revelations from the Leveson Inquiry are a reminder of how wise it was to create a judge-led inquiry with wide terms of reference and powers. And who was it who did that when the Coalition Government was drawing up the plans, rejecting the talk of a lesser inquiry? Step forward, Nick Clegg.

PS I should have added that it was of course Lib Dem MP Adrian Sanders who was the first in the party to be calling for a judicial inquiry, following his experience on the DCMS Select Committee.

* Mark Pack has written 101 Ways To Win An Election and produces a monthly newsletter about the Liberal Democrats.

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12 Comments

  • I don’t think Nick Clegg deserves a drumming at every opportunity, and indeed, he should be commended for calling for a deeper inquiry.

    My only criticism with Clegg over this matter is that, , once the evidence of Hunt and his ministerial aid was “potentially” a Breech of the Ministerial Code, Which as we all know is outside the remit of the Leverson Enquiry to judge on. Cameron should be conducting a Ministerial Enquiry NOW on whether a breech has occured.

    It is absurd that the Government and ministers aids are being given pre-access to all the evidence against them and witness statements that have been provided to the enquiry, for-arming the minister(s) so they can copulate some kind of rebuff and arguments, which will more likely be a lets say, full of half truths and a lot of not to my recollections, which as we all know in court languages means ut is plausible it happened but i don’t recall, In other words, of course it happened, but that’s the line to use to stop a “perjury” charge being brought against you

    It stinks,. and i think Clegg should embrace the Liberal Democrat in him, if it still exists and demand that Cameron deals with Hunt now.

    Would show Clegg actually had some backbone maybe and some redeemable qualities, god know’s he’s going to need them lol

  • Is there anything in the coalition agreement about withdrawing from an administration due to rampant Tory sleaze?

  • Keith Browning 12th May '12 - 7:33am

    These people spend all their time at school learning to ‘network’. When they go to university they build up their ‘network’. Then they use this ‘network’ to further their own career and create success for their company.

    Then they come before the tribunal and say none of this ‘networking’ has any influence over anything. They only spend their life making ‘small talk’ and nothing more.

    Yet the man in the flat cap in the ‘public bar’ of the Dog and Ferret spends half his life sounding off about the politics of the day – but when politicians and their friends get together they never mention it.

    Who is kidding who?

    Get the man from the Dog and Ferret to ask the questions at the Leveson enquiry. Then we might get a little closer to the truth. It will certainly be a lot closer to real life.

  • “Throughout we have repeatedly encountered an unwillingness to provide the detailed information that we sought, claims of ignorance or lack of recall, and deliberate obfuscation.”
    Quite extraordinary and disgraceful that the exNI employees can continue to use these tactics.

  • Thanks, Adrian, for sharing your unique knowledge of this with the LDV community.

    Matt, I was willing to excuse your spelling and other errors in your post above, until you got to the bit about ministers being allowed to “copulate” their arguments and rebuffs!! For what it’s worth, I agree with the broad “thrust” of your own argument! I notice you sign off, like Cameron, with lol. Lots of love?

  • Richard Dean 12th May '12 - 10:56am

    The first thing that came into my mind when I heard of the “core particpants” is that it gave the wrongdoers the opportunity to put pressure on witnesses to change their story when they gave it verbally, or to change the emphasis so that bad things didn’t seem so bad. The next thought that arrived was that, even if this doesn’t happen, it diminishes the apparent credibility of the enquiry.

  • I’d like to thank Adrian for not voting with the Tories on the CMS in their attempts to water down censure of the dirty digger. He has probably achieved more in differentiating us from the Tories than any other of our MPs in the last 3 months.

  • “Throughout we have repeatedly encountered an unwillingness to provide the detailed information that we sought, claims of ignorance or lack of recall, and deliberate obfuscation.”

    It also makes the ‘on oath’ meaningless. Coulson, in particular, seemed “unaware” of what, who and where happened; if what he said is an accurate description of No 10 then a local PTA has much to teach them.
    Still why are we surprised? Liam Fox was unaware that ‘taking a friend’ to high level defence meetings was untoward; Jeremy Hunt was unaware of his department’s inner workings, etc.
    One might be excused for believing that most of the time, of those in power, is spent in ensuring they are ‘unaware’ of what goes on.

  • Bill le Breton 12th May '12 - 11:35am

    What Adrian has shown with the publication of the above letter is that there is a period of nine months between him calling on the Leader personally as DPM to supoport the call for a judicial inquiry and the Leader doing so – and an even longer period between Paddick and Huhne calling for a judicial inquiry and the Leader eventually reacting
    The Leader might also wish to explain why during this period it is believed he told the Parliamentary Party that he considered it an minority issue and only came out in favour following the Milly Dowler phone hacking revelations.
    If this is not the case he should make that plain.

  • Thank you Tim for pointing out my illiteracy 😉 my spelling and grammar is not good at the best of times, it deteriorates even more so after too many glasses of wine.

    However, on reflection, I think I will stick with the copulate arguments as a metaphor, after all there is an awful lot of back rubbing going on between government ministers in order for them to get themselves out of a hole.

  • Tony Dawson 13th May '12 - 5:45pm

    Well done, Adrian, for bringing a pink tongue to these proceedings.

    One might even say: “‘simple sword of truth and trusty shield of British fair play”, had that quote not been cornered by the grandson of a Press baron! 🙂

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