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Hunt And Warsi Feel The Heat, Huhne In Court, Ireland Votes - HuffPost's Political Week Ahead

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LEVESON
Leveson Hears From Five Cabinet Ministers This Week - And Tony Blair | PA

It's a good week to be a presenter on the BBC and Sky rolling news channels - they'll get paid do do very little as the usual schedules will be swept aside, replaced by blanket coverage of the Leveson inquiry. Senior cabinet ministers serve as the warm-up act for Jeremy Hunt, who finally gets to give his side of the BSkyB takeover deal on Thursday.

Theresa May, Vince Cable and Ken Clarke are among the senior members of the government who'll appear before Leveson on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Monday Tony Blair will spend the entire day being asked questions by Robert Jay - a QC who has become almost as analysed as the witnesses he grills.

Blair - who famously flew around the world to meet Rupert Murdoch after he was elected in 1997 - will be asked just how cosy the relationship was between New Labour and News International. Is the dodgy media-political complex all his fault ultimately?

Although some of the emails and texts sent by Jeremy Hunt are quite embarrassing and a lesson in how not to conduct business in dodgy Franglais, it's accepted that none of the evidence given by his former special adviser Adam Smith last week could be construed as a smoking gun to unseat the culture secretary. But once Hunt has appeared before Leveson, expect the clamour for him to resign from Labour to resume, regardless of what he says.

Elsewhere the allegations that Tory chairwoman Sayeeda Warsi wrongly claimed for overnight expenses in 2008 will be a critical test of her popularity within her party. She's not wildly popular among grassroots members and there are grumbles about her among MPs. Will any of them come out and support her? Tory sources point out that she hasn't broken the law, and most of her alleged wrongdoing took place before the expenses scandal, when the rules were fuzzy and widely flouted. Will that be enough to save her?

On Friday Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce finally have their day in court for allegedly perverting the course of justice. It's taken four months for their case to get to Crown Court. Their appearance this week will probably be a brief one, but we should finally get their formal pleas.

And on Friday votes will be counted in the Irish referendum on the European Stabilisation Treaty. The polls suggest the Irish will give a "yes" vote, which is being urged by all the major parties.

A "no" vote wouldn't derail the entire treaty, but would make it impossible for the Irish to take advantage of the rescue fund being created to stop further crises in the Eurozone. And the latest polls suggest about a quarter of voters haven't made up their mind on how to vote, which is why politicians in Dublin remain nervous.

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