Clegg reaches for the Sky
Nick Clegg took unilateral action with his call for Rupert Murdoch to abandon his bid for BSkyB, I understand.
The Deputy Prime Minister's plea for Murdoch to "do the decent thing" and reconsider the merger was apparently not discussed with David Cameron in advance.
"Nick was asked a question and he answered it," an aide told me.
"He was giving his own view on what the top man at News International should do."
The aide also scotched suggestions that this was part of a Government-orchestrated attempt to get Murdoch to drop the bid by using the Coalition as a convenient vehicle.
It would certainly be terribly convenient if NewsCorp dropped its bid for Sky - saving Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt any tough (and legally very complicated) decisions.
But the aide stressed the Lib-Dems' long history of independence from News International, adding: "We have got to be absolutely able - as we do - to say our own thing on this."
Muscular liberalism indeed.
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