Prime minister will cut short election tour to make Commons statement after Speaker grants Labour’s request
David Cameron is to be required to make an urgent Commons statement about the culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, a development that will infuriate No 10 and strengthen its suspicion of the Speaker, John Bercow.
David Cameron will cut short an election tour to make the Commons statement on Monday afternoon, amid pressure on Hunt over his handling of News Corp’s bid to take full control of BSkyB.
It is for the Speaker alone to decide whether to grant an urgent question. It was thought he would reject the Labour request on the basis that Cameron dealt with the issue at prime minister’s questions and Hunt answered questions for more than an hour in the Commons last Wednesday.
But since then Lord Justice Leveson has made it clear that he does not have the mandate to decide whether Hunt has breached the ministerial code.
Cameron has adopted the position that he will look at breaches of the code only after Hunt has given evidence under oath to Leveson. He argued that the Leveson inquiry was a better forum since it would require all evidence to be made available publicly.
Ed Miliband has accused Cameron of conducting a cover-up and said the issue should be examined immediately by Sir Alex Allan, the prime minister’s independent adviser on the ministerial code.