Minutes after Jeremy Hunt finished giving evidence at Leveson, Number 10 stated that he would not be referred to the independent adviser on the ministerial code. Hunt would have settled for this result at the beginning of the day.
But Labour is sure to point out that the reason Hunt was not referred to him before was to avoid parallel inquiries. So, now that Hunt has given evidence, there’s no bar to Alex Allan investigating.
The evidence presented today contained no smoking gun. But it still created an impression that is deeply damaging to Hunt and his future career prospects. It turns out that Hunt carried on texting James Murdoch, albeit pleasantries, even after he had taken on the quasi-judicial role. There was also a cringe-worthy moment when Hunt suggested that he had considered resigning after seeing the volume of texts between Smith and Michel but then decided not to before acquiescing to the sacking of Smith.
Hunt is still in post tonight. He will now feel that if he is not criticised in Leveson’s eventual report then he will make it to the other side. But, given the tone of Leveson’s questioning to him, Hunt will have a nervous wait for the report.Tags: Jeremy Hunt, Leveson inquiry, News Corp, Number 10