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PM: Allan can't add to sleaze probe
The adviser Labour wants to carry out a sleaze probe into Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt's handling of the BSkyB bid believes he could not "usefully add" to the case, David Cameron says.
The Prime Minister insisted the decision over whether to launch an investigation was his alone but told MPs he had received a letter from Sir Alex Allan, independent adviser on ministerial interests, backing his claim that the Leveson Inquiry hearing dealt with the issue.
Mr Cameron also dismissed Liberal Democrat plans to abstain in a vote being forced by Labour on the issue as "politics".
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who was absent from prime minister's questions because he was giving evidence at the Leveson Inquiry, has repeatedly told Mr Cameron he believed Sir Alex should be brought in to consider the case.
Labour leader Ed Miliband said the Prime Minister was in a state of "delusion".
Sir Alex said the decision over whether a case was referred to him was a matter for Mr Cameron, adding he "remains available".
His letter states: "The fact that there is an ongoing judicial inquiry probing and taking evidence under oath means that I do not believe I could usefully add to the facts in this case though I remain available should circumstances change or new evidence emerges."
Earlier this year the public administration select committee published a critical report about the lack of power Sir Alex's role holds. It called for changes that would allow the independent adviser to embark on investigations without referral from the Prime Minister.
Labour dismissed Sir Alex's letter as a "smokescreen".
A senior Labour spokesman said: "This is a David Cameron smokescreen. It is not an effective one. The questions are about the Prime Minister's judgment. We know what the facts are. We know he has failed to exercise proper judgment."