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Nick Clegg gives Boris a lesson in loyalty

By Matthew Barrett
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BBC Newsnight's Michael Crick asked Boris Johnson, at a press conference a short while ago, whether, in light of Boris saying it was correct for Sir Paul Stephenson to step down, it would be correct for the Prime Minister to stand down, for hiring Andy Coulson. Johnson's response did not defend the Prime Minister's actions. He said the two cases were different, but he refused to say whether Cameron should step down. Instead, he said:

"this is a matter you must direct to No. 10 Downing Street."

What Boris should have said is what Nick Clegg said a few minutes ago:

"Asked whether Cameron should go, Nick Clegg says: Absolutely not, of course not, let’s keep things in perspective here."

4.45pm Update: Theresa May, making a statement in the House of Commons on today's developments, was asked by Labour backbencher Nia Griffith (Llanelli) whether she will be starting an inquiry into what advice Boris Johnson received that made him actively discourage re-opening an inquiry into phone-hacking. Theresa May replied:

"I say to the honourable lady that the advice the Mayor takes is a matter for the Mayor."


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