A story on the Independent website tells us:
Nick Clegg tonight told his MPs not to back the Tories in Parliamentary vote calling for Jeremy Hunt to be referred to the ministerial standards watchdog.
Labour will tomorrow submit a motion in the House of Commons calling for Mr Hunt to face an investigation by Sir Alex Allen, the Prime Minister’s adviser on ministers’ interests, following criticism over his handling of the BSkyB takeover.
Mr Clegg’s aides said he had taken the decision not to back his coalition partners after “repeatedly” telling David Cameron that Mr Hunt should face an inquiry by Sir Alex.That sounds forceful from Nick. But if at the end of it he is ignored and responds by telling his MPs to abstain, he is in danger of looking weak.
I am struggling to see whom this abstention will impress. Certainly not liberal-minder voters who care about the power of News Corp - and you would think they are just the sort of people we would want to vote Liberal Democrat.
At the start of the month I said that we should vote with Labour on this matter, and I still believe that today.
The Independent reports by suggesting:
It is still possible that some Lib Dem MPs might go further and back the Labour motion but senior Liberal Democrats said they were confidence that the majority would obstain.Some Lib Dem votes for that motion will cheer the party's activists, but now it will do nothing to make our position look coherent.