How dangerous is this week for the PM?
There was, I believe, a degree of complacency in relation to Cameron in the previous thread on which of the three main party leaders would still be there at the general election. He’s still got a pile of hurdles to surmount.
This week sees Dave and other leading figures including George going before Leveson as well as the Labour-generated debate on his handling of Jeremy Hunt.
The real danger for ministers is that there’s a lot of cross-checking going on between the evidence given under oath to Leveson and a number of commons statements.
In a Telegraph article over the weekend the reporter who did tonight’s Channel 4 Dispateches programme, Peter Oborne, highlighted possible differences between the evidence given under oath by Andy Coulson and Cameron’s statements in the house.
“…Either Mr Coulson was lying under oath to Lord Justice Leveson, which seems unthinkable. Or the Prime Minister was misleading MPs, potentially a resignation issue. The Leveson Inquiry will need to get to the bottom of this apparent conflict of evidence on Thursday…”
The “blurb” for tonight’s Channnel 4 Dispatches programme has it this way:-
“As David Cameron prepares to take the stand at the Leveson Inquiry, Peter Oborne investigates just how close the Prime Minister got to the Murdoch empire. Did the Tories agree to help the mogul secure a business deal worth Â£8 billion?
Oborne speaks to those close to Cameron, reveals new insight into his relationship with Murdoch’s inner circle and explains the magnitude of the political crisis now confronting the country.
Senior journalists stand accused of bribery, police officers of corruption, and now a Prime Minister and parts of his cabinet are fighting for their political lives”
So a tricky few days ahead. Cameron in the past has always been at his best when his back is to the wall. Will that carry him through the next few days. My guess is that it probably will.
Mike Smithson @MSmithsonPB