Could there be a consensus on press regulation?

David Cameron and Nick Clegg. Photo: Press Association

Is there a chance that tomorrow's Commons' votes on press regulation may not go ahead? Could there be agreement between the parties afterall?

There's certainly a sense of that this afternoon. The Prime Minister and his Deputy may have a phone conversation, after their big bust up on Thursday when David Cameron pulled out of cross-party talks.

But since then, there's already been significant movement between the two sides. After Mr Cameron published plans for a press watchdog set up by Royal Charter in England and Wales, the Lib Dems and Labour produced their own version. The big difference between the two sides is whether or not it's backed by law.

The Tories have written into their charter that if it's to be changed, it would require a two thirds majority in both Houses of Parliament to agree. The Lib/Lab proposal also requires this, but they want that clause written in law. Both sides say it's the best way to protect the freedom of the press - and victims.

But there is also another amendment that's been tabled by the Lib Dems and Labour calling for all the Leveson proposals on press regulation to be put in place. That's what's really worrying the PM and his team.

Lord Justice Leveson with the Report from the Inquiry into the Culture, Practices and Ethics of the Press. Credit: Press Association

As it currently stands, the Prime Minister is likely to lose tomorrow's votes. The argument is if he allows the clause about changing the charter to be put in statute, he could head off much tougher press regulation.

A Tory who may well vote against his leader has told me he thinks talks could resume in the morning and a deal could be done. Even a Government whip says he thinks consensus between all sides could be reached by tomorrow evening.

But this is politics. So there's still all to play for.

More on this story