Coffee House

Nick Clegg to give separate Leveson statement

29 November 2012

10:34 AM

29 November 2012

10:34 AM

Nick Clegg will make his own statement on Leveson in the Commons today after the Prime Minister has spoken. Party sources were saying yesterday that this would only happen if the two men disagreed on the government’s response to the report. The Lib Dems want to back the rapid creation of a statutory backstop for newspaper regulation, while David Cameron does not want to back any press law, at least for now.

This is probably the biggest clue we’ll get as to the content of the Leveson report before the embargo lifts at 1.30pm. But it doesn’t necessarily mean a big split over the outcome: the coalition cabinet committee will meet at noon to discuss the full response, and there may well be greater unity over this than initially appears. A Lib Dem source tells me: ‘We’re not talking about a massive coalition split and we do think its important that all party leaders talk about it.’

How Clegg plays this is, as James blogged yesterday, a key way of demonstrating that coalition can work between two parties that disagree on big issues. It will be important for the Deputy Prime Minister to prevent his statement being interpreted as a split similar to that over the House of Lords reform. In many ways, the highly unusual situation of having two representatives of the government speaking on a topic this important in the House is a result of the highly unusual nature of coalition government.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.

Show comments
  • Noa

    Did anyone notice?

  • Andrew Paul Shakespeare

    Ahh, Little Nicky wants to play at prime ministers. How sweet!

  • Rhoda Klapp

    On this day of climactic satisfaction for westminster onanists, will the Spectator be covering the suicide note that is the energy bill?

    • an ex-tory voter

      Don’t hold your breath,. In any case, if they do it will most likely be in support of the said “onanists”.
      As you are no doubt aware, there are websites which do provide clear, concise and critical comment on climate change and the associated scam. This just isn’t one of them.

  • HooksLaw

    ‘Net migration – the balance between the number of people who come to
    live in the UK for the long-term and the number who are leaving – fell
    from 242,000 to 183,000 in the year to March. .’

    • an ex-tory voter

      So did immigration fall, or emigration increase?

    • Rhoda Klapp

      You know, net could be zero yet our entire population could be replaced in a year.

  • MikeBrighton

    The “Liberal ” Democrats in clearly seeking a legally enforced i.e statutory regulation for the press also known as state controlled press appear to have forgotten then first word in their name. You can’t make this stuff up…

    • Colonel Mustard

      And the second word in their name too because this state regulation approach has been pushed by an agenda which is far from elected or democratic. The misbehaviour of the free press is just the emotive blackmail with which to establish the thin edge of a very large wedge. It follows a pattern. Froth about the tragedy of Milly Dowler and no right-thinking person can oppose it. Froth about terrorism and paedophilia and no right-thinking person can oppose total surveillance of our emails, telephone calls and internet surfing.


      • MikeBrighton

        I agree. If you oppose the state regulation approach you will be accused of “supporting the hacking of murdered childrens telephones”

        Very similar to the state banning of handguns in 1997 where the Snow Drop campaign essentially accused opponents of the banning of “supporting the murder of children with handguns”

        • Heartless etc.,

          I believe there are now more illegal firearms in the UK than ever.

          • Coffeehousewall

            And what are the ethnicities of most of those who hold them?

        • Colonel Mustard

          I also find it curious that Brooks et al are scheduled to appear in court on the very same day as the Leveson Enquiry report is released, as though to remind people of the alleged wrongdoing. Who orchestrated that and why?

    • Andy

      You are bang on the money. The whole political class has become aurthortiarian and illiberal.

  • BigAl

    This morning has been a bit like the build up to a football match with the news punters on all BBC stations speculating on what Leveson will or will not say. It is tiresome before a football game and pathetic for a serious news organisation to get involved in this. Get back to reporting the news rather than making it!

  • Wilhelm

    Nelson has said ” the Spectator will not follow the state licensing of the press !! ”

    It’s a like a 3 year old having a tantrum.

    • ButcombeMan

      Nelson was grandstanding. He should have kept his powder dry.

      • Noa

        He did and has. Insider knowledge?

  • swatantra

    Clegg is an honourable man but won’t resign or pull his Party from the Coalition Govt, precisely because he is an honourable man and believes that Britan needs a Coalition Govt at this point in time to moderate the Tory Agenda of ‘selling off the family silver’ as Stockton so eloquently put it. So we look forward to his Minority Report.

    • HooksLaw

      What family silver is being sold off. Didn’t Labour privatise all that was left? Are you living in the right decade?

      Meantime the problem with coalitions is that where they disagree then nothing gets done. But all large parties are coalitions. Take labour: Blair wanted to reform education health and welfare but Brown disagreed so nothing was done.

    • Heartless etc.,

      Clegg …. So we look forward to his Minority Report.

      I really don’t think we look forward to anything from this dismal apparatchik except his departure.

    • Vulture

      Of course Clegg won’t resign or break up the Coalition, Swat. But not because he’s an ‘honourable man’ ( Pause for long burst of mocking laughter).
      No, its because he knows that he and his miserable little rabble would get slaughtered at the polls snd he wants to keep troughing as long as possible while he’s fixing up his next post in Brussels.

    • DavidDP

      Funny how nobody remembers what Stockton said when it was subsequently put to him that this was a criticism of privatisation, to wit “Of course I support privatisation, I’m a Conservative”. Or words to that effect.
      What this latest develpoment suggests to me is that, far from being honourable (or even liberal), Clegg has plumped for some form of statutory control which, thankfully, Cameron will not recommend.
      It could be vice versa of course,but somehow I doubt it.