All sides are claiming victory this morning, with the exception of the press. Given that the concessions were reportedly made by Letwin in Ed’s office, in the wee hours, just hours before the prospect of a Commons defeat, the Tories are starting the spin battle from the bottom of the hill. Maria Miller insists Dave has won and that there is no statutory underpinning:
“There is no statutory underpinning for the approach that we are taking. There will be no statutory underpinning. What we’re talking about here is simply reiterating the fact that there can be no change to the charter as we move forward. I mean, this is already incorporated into the charter and has been from the beginning … This is not statutory underpinning, it is simply making sure that there’s no change – it’s a no-change clause. What has been accepted by all the parties is that the prime minister’s royal charter should go ahead, and that importantly we’ve stopped Labour’s extreme version of the press law, which now, as part of any deal, the Labour party would actually vote against.”
Harriet Harman says there is:
“There is a an amendment going forward into the enterprise and regulatory reform bill which says that where a charter says in that charter it can’t be dissolved or amended without a two thirds majority in both Houses, then that should have the force of law. There is a little bit of statute. Hacked Off will be very pleased by the outcome.”
What do you think?