In an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr, Cameron said “I do not believe [Jeremy Hunt] broke the ministerial code”, and insisted that there had been “no grand deal” between himself and Rupert Murdoch ahead of the 2010 election. Cameron said he would say the same under oath in front of the Leveson inquiry.
Last week Cameron said he was referring the case to the Leveson inquiry, even though Lord Justice Leveson said that he had no intention of adjudicating on the issue.
The Guardian reports that a Labour source said: “Cameron is trying to hide behind the Leveson inquiry. With parliament breaking up on Tuesday, Cameron must come to the Commons and explain to the British people why he is ducking his responsibilities to enforce the ministerial code.”
Yesterday Cameron said that a decision on whether to open a Whitehall investigation would only be able to be made after Mr Hunt testifies to the Leveson inquiry next month.
The shadow culture secretary, Harriet Harman, said that the prime minister could himself be in violation of the ministerial code if he failed to refer Hunt’s case to an independent advisor. Harman said: “The ministerial code says that if a matter warrants further investigation in the view of the prime minister then he will refer it to the independent adviser. He doesn’t have the discretion to say somebody else can look at it. So the prime minister himself is now breaching the ministerial code.”
The Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow is considering whether to summon David Cameron to the Commons over his refusal to refer Hunt to the ministerial standards watchdog.
Source: The Guardian