Not the 'relaunch' David Cameron had hoped for

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Prime Minister David Cameron on BBC'1s The Andrew Marr Show
David Cameron talked about his own relationships with Rupert Murdoch and if the Culture Secretar Jeremy Hunt, should still be in his job. Photo: Jeff Overs/BBC//PA Wire

I remember the quote the Prime Minister gave to us on Monday.

He said, "This is about the government getting back [to focusing on our debt and deficits."

Monday was, of course, "relaunch" day.

If this was the relaunch of an ocean liner rather than a government in trouble, I would suggest in the course of the last week the partially refurbished ship scraped down the slipway making a terrible noise only to be holed by a mine as it entered the water.

So David Cameron was not talking about "debts and deficits" in his television interview this morning on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show as much as he might have wanted.

In fact he spent 18 minutes talking about his own relationships with Rupert Murdoch and whether his Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, should still be in his job. That subject even eclipsed what would ordinarily have been a terrible political event for any government: the economy sliding back into recession after two successive quarters of contraction. On the Murdochs, Mr Cameron strongly denied there was a "grand deal" between him and News Corp to help the Murdoch empire in return for favourable press coverage. Did I try to convince newspapers (and broadcasters, he added) that the country would be better off with a Conservative government, Cameron asked of himself (as politicians increasingly do in interviews now). Yes I did, he answered (himself).

But he denies Jeremy Hunt's actions should be investigated for a breach of the Ministerial Code.

Downing Street's position on the Culture Secretary is now this: Mr Hunt should give his evidence under oath to the Leveson Inquiry and if information arises from that Mr Cameron says, "I know my responsibilities ... I would act."

Labour maintain it's Mr Cameron's job - not that of Lord Justice Leveson - to investigate breaches of the Ministerial Code.

ritain's Secretary for Culture, Jeremy Hunt, is driven from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in central London April 25, 2012
The Prime Minister told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show he did not believe Jeremy Hunt breached ministerial code Credit: REUTERS/Olivia Harris

But David Cameron appears to have settled on this decision for now.

Then again, "settled" and "politics" are not two words you find in the same sentence at the moment.

At least there are no major events in the diary to upset the government in the coming week, however.

Oh, unless you count the local elections involving 5,000 council seats and a close fight between Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone for the mayoralty of London at a time when the Conservatives are up to 11 points behind Labour in the polls.

Nothing major.