'Cash for coaching' shows PM's concerns over ministers' competence


Plaid Cymru's Parliamentary Leader, Elfyn Llwyd MP, has used today's Prime Minister's Questions session to quiz the Prime Minister on why his party has reportedly spent up to £1million on coaching for Ministers ahead of their Leveson Inquiry appearances.

Mr Llwyd said that the decision shows a party that is less than comfortable being questioned in such a rigorous and high-profile investigation.

He added that the Conservatives' actions undermined the purpose of the Leveson Inquiry which is to establish the unvarnished truth about the unhealthy relationship between some politicians and members of the press.

Speaking after the session, Mr Llwyd said:

"This 'cash for coaching' saga clearly shows that the Prime Minister is less than comfortable with Ministers and members of his party being questioned at the Leveson Inquiry.

"The decision to reportedly spend up to £1million on coaching Ministers ahead of their appearances reflects the Prime Minister's lack of confidence in his Ministers and his uncertainty over their competence to deliver solid and water-tight testimonies.

"The Leveson Inquiry was set up by the Prime Minister himself to investigate how we can nurture a healthier and more transparent relationship between the press and politicians. It is ironic therefore that he could now be seen to be undermining the Inquiry's efficiency and rigour.

"I have co-sponsored the cross-party motion (to be voted on later today) calling for Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt to be referred to the independent advisor over concerns that he breached the ministerial code.

"Vital questions remain unanswered, not only over Mr Hunt and the 'cash for coaching' saga, but also over wider issues of transparency and accountability between the press and politicians. Only thorough investigations can properly address such matters and challenge the sleaze that is beginning to infect the current government."