Coffee House

Hunt’s in real trouble

24 April 2012

If anyone doubted just how dramatic the Murdochs’ evidence to Leveson
was going to be, then the five hours of testimony today have settled that argument. In the process, they have also turned Jeremy Hunt into the political equivalent of damaged goods. It is now hard
to see how he can be Secretary of State when the Olympics open let alone Tory leader one day.

The emails that have just been released show just how deep a hole Hunt is in. He and his special adviser
seem to have been rather reckless in their interactions with Murdoch and his representatives, they have certainly opened themselves up to criticism. It should be noted, though, that the accuracy of
Michel’s emails may well be challenged by Hunt when he appears before Leveson. But if it is accurate that Hunt called James Murdoch on his mobile after being advised by civil servants not to
meet him, then it is hard to see how he can carry on.

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However much David Cameron might want to keep Hunt — and he won’t want to set a precedent of Leveson claiming political scalps — holding onto him in the face of a media, Labour,
and possibly Lib Dem, onslaught will be politically costly.

When ministers are in trouble, I’m always struck by whether or not Tory MPs ring up unprompted to defend their embattled colleague. Today, I haven’t had a single call in defence of

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  • xrayspecs

    Good grief Bob Hutton, is that comment for real or thrown in for a bit of light relief?

  • Bob Hutton

    A short while ago a Christian radio advert was banned after Hunt intervened and effectively persuaded a court to do so.

    This man chose to stifle the free speech of Christians and is now under the judgement of God for so doing.

    “God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” Galatians 6 v 7

  • Gochome

    I am afraid the body of evidence apperas too great for him to even have any kind of defence on this one. What a total and utter fool!

  • Tweety

    Love it, Love it, Love it’!!!!!!

    Game on. :-)

  • rockinron

    So yesterday’s media blitz by Mr Cameron now looks like an attempt at deflection from bad news. The PM must have known the enquiry would lead to this prior to today, hence a cynical observer could ponder, what else is there to come. No question, Mr Hunt has to go. Better to ditch him now, than try to hang on. Severe doubts about Cable as well, but he could be real trouble from the back benches, so I guess it’s a yellow card for him.

  • RCE

    You missed out ‘BBC’ from your list of onslaughtees.

  • anyfool

    The only thing that can be said of this article is that the writer has decided that Hunt is guilty without even trying to confirm the veracity of the emails/contacts, also he seems to believe that anything the Murdochs say is the absolute truth, you wonder why the conservatives are do badly in the polls when they are served so loyally by the likes of Forsyth who seems to see justification for his slapdash acceptance of whatever has come to light today with last line of his article about not receiving a single call to defend Hunt, maybe the tories now regard him as not trustworthy which sounds a more plausible reason not to call.

  • Peter of Maidstone

    holding onto him in the face of a media, Labour, and possibly Lib Dem, onslaught will be politically costly.

    Not just possibly. Vince Cable got a bloody nose on this one and will want his pound of flesh. He will not be amused to hear that Hunt was undermining him.

  • Sylva Ngen

    Jeremy Hunt (JH) should do the honourable thing to resign. If he can not do that then David Cameron should fired him.

    If Mr. Cameron can not do that, it shows how weak and incompetence he is.


  • Fernando

    Interesting that this is mainly Michel’s take on events, so it is not first hand. However, reading through the evidence I can’t see much that Hunt’s special advisors did which was different from that done by Cable’s advisors. So Michel tries to put the best case for his side and lobbies Clegg, Cameron, Laws and Salmond. I can’t see anything untoward. Perhaps people expect politicians to cut themselves off from business leaders, but then they get accused of being remote.

  • Andrew SW18

    Having read the exhibit in full, it seems to me that Cable emerges covered in Oakeshitt.

  • Rhoda Klapp

    How exciting this must be to all the bubbleers, but how irrelevant it seems to me that non-entities may be seduced by rich men’s gold and the illusion of influence. And as they are all non-entities, they are all at it. How banal. Must it take days to play through the farce. Can’t we just get on with something real?

  • Jannie Geldenhuys

    The whole thing beggars belief.

    Hunt and his SPAD are complete fools if the story is even half true.

    Leveson is a completely uncontrollable circus. Cameron was an idiot to create it.

    Cameron is I fear heading for oblivion. As is this country when Miliband becomes PM.

    I despair.

  • Bill Brinsmead

    Telegraph’s proxy war on its Murdoch competitors persecuted via the harmless old Speccie.

    I see what you’re up to.

  • EC


    sub-prime Minister.

    Although compared to the rest of ’em he’s a political colossus standing astride…… etc.

  • Dimoto

    I would be very happy to see Hunt thrown to the wolves, this tale just shows what a careless, amoral prat he is.

    Didn’t realise he had “leadership ambitions” (that’s a laugh).

    I suppose that is why he has been thoroughly supine in failing to make the BBC accountable to it’s charter.

    Is nobody responsible for calling in these new MPs/Ministers, and explaining to them in words of one syllable, how vulnerable they are, how cautious they should be and the standards expected of them ??

  • salieri

    Putting it circumspectly (at least for now), you do wonder how so many government ministers can be quite so unwise, quite so frequently, quite so spectacularly and in quite so many different ways. What is it that they just can’t help – the hubris, the conceit or the imbecility? I am actually beginning to feel a bit sorry for the Prime Minister.

  • jon dee

    Hysterical, the pack go hunting.

  • Sylva Ngen

    He is finished. But it’s also interesting to see the part played by David Laws

  • libertarian

    It just shows you that you shouldn’t mess with people who do things for a living rather than just talk about them in talking shops.

    Hunt and Cable must both go.

  • Faceless Bureaucrat

    If Hunt goes, then so should Cable…

  • Deepsnoozer

    Hunt is Toast, but we all know who is really at fault.. His BOSS!

  • Maggie

    If Hunt doesn ‘t come out fighting I’ll be absolutely furious. He has done nothing wrong. He has done nothing to apologise for. Just because the forces of the left are going berserk that is no reason to react to their hysteria.

  • neverundersold

    Hunt is toast – and rightly so. You cannot read those emails and emerge thinking either that Michel is lying about the extent of his conversations with JH or that this is the right way to run a railroad. It was a bent process and it’s right that they’ve been rumbled.

  • Vulture

    I’ve always thought that Hunt looks rather like a rat on hind legs. The bright brown eyes, the greasy whiskers, the scaly tail.

    But if the rat is forced to jump ship, what price the Pied Piper who plays his tune?

    Can’t Dave do ANYTHING right?

  • Torontory

    Yes Hunt may be in trouble, but just as damaging was the evidence against Cable who was clearly shown as disregarding the advice of officials and not following due process.

    If Hunt is for the chop, so should Cable be.

  • Steve Tennison

    Looks like he has been an utterlrly stupid Hunt, as they say in my part of London.

  • Austin Barry

    The revenge of the Murdochs.

  • Bruce, UK

    “When ministers are in trouble, I’m always struck by whether or not Tory MPs ring up unprompted to defend their embattled colleague. Today, I haven’t had a single call in defence of Hunt.”

    So, Naughtie seems to have been right.

  • Nick

    Just as corrupt as Vince Cable, and he is still there.

  • Scott

    Read Michel’s witness statement, which faltly contradicts most of the emails suggesting direct contact with Jeremy Hunt

  • Colin

    Told you, game on…

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