Diary: Conveniently, Hunt seems to be slipping off the hook

 

Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary, is so confident that he has survived the revelations of the Leveson Inquiry that he has invited political journalists this week to a drinks reception in his office. He no longer fears what they might ask.

How different it might have been if Sir Alex Allan, the independent adviser on ministers' interests, had been authorised to look into whether Mr Hunt had broken the ministerial code. But he can only investigate those whom the Prime Minister tells him to investigate. David Cameron allowed him to probe some fairly trivial complaints about the party chairman, Baroness Warsi, but wouldn't let him near the much bigger issue of the Murdoch bid to take over the whole of BSkyB.

A cross-party Commons committee recommended giving Sir Alex more muscle, so he can decide for himself whom to investigate. That report was scheduled to be voted on in the Commons tomorrow. Then along came the Barclays scandal. The Government decided it was worth a Commons debate, which will be held tomorrow, so – whoops! – the embarrassing committee report has fallen off the agenda, and no one knows if or when it will get back on again. Convenient.

Clegg can be grateful for small mercies

In a way Nick Clegg is to be congratulated. A survey by Lib Dem Voice, the main website for Liberal Democrat activists, says that 54 per cent of party members surveyed think he is doing OK, while 34 per cent are "dissatisfied" with him, giving him a net satisfaction rating of plus 20.

That compares with a plus 80 score for everyone's favourite Liberal Democrat, the Business Secretary Vince Cable. Why should the Deputy Prime Minister, below right, be pleased when more than a third of his own party thinks he is rubbish? Because it is actually a better score than the last such survey.

Former golden boy's tweet says it all

Nick Clegg's problem, and that of much of Parliament, was neatly encapsulated in a tweet yesterday from the Tory MP Zac Goldsmith – "Nick Clegg feels lobotomised in Govt. MPs are lobotomised in Parliament." Reading that makes one wonder whether this former golden boy of the Tories will want to go on being a Tory MP.

Moggy's claws out for Carr

That star of the Tory backbenches, Jacob Rees-Mogg, does not agree with David Cameron's view that Jimmy Carr's tax avoidance wheeze was "morally wrong". Tax is not a moral issue, the Moggy told the Commons, as they debated Goerge Osborne's Budget for the last time. This is not to say that he would defend Jimmy Carr, even supposing he knew who he was, because, he added, "the scheme used by a comedian, whose name momentarily escapes me but who is quite famous, was almost certainly unlawful..."

From Russia with bad memories

A little crowd assembled at Pushkin House in London's Bloomsbury Square on Monday night for a special showing of Age of Delirium, a film by the former Financial Times correspondent David Satter, in which citizens of what used to be the USSR tell their stories. A woman from a small Ukrainian village recalled the state-induced famine of 1933, during which the parents of one of her primary school classmates went mad with hunger, cut him up, ate him, and stuffed his bones in a barrel. Extraordinarily, this film is being shown in Russia.

Yet if anyone thought the days of political violence there are over, sitting at the back was Akhmed Zakayev, a Chechen exile whom the British courts have refused to extradite. If Zakayev went back to Chechnya, it is a toss-up whether he would be killed by Islamists or disappear into a Russian jail on a dubious charge, never to be seen again.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Compensation and Benefits Manager - Brentwood - Circa £60,000

£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £35000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain