Lib Dems deciding whether to support Jeremy Hunt in Commons debate

Liberal Democrat MPs and peers are meeting now to decide whether to withhold their support from the Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt in the Commons tomorrow.

MPs are due to vote on a Labour motion which calls for Mr Hunt to be investigated for breaching the ministerial code.

The motion calls for an inquiry by Sir Alex Allan - the independent adviser on ministers' interests - into whether the culture secretary breached the code by failing to give "accurate and truthful information to Parliament" and by failing to take "responsibility for his special adviser".

The prime minister gave his full backing to Mr Hunt just minutes after he gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry and has refused to ask Sir Alex to investigate further.

A small number of Lib Dem backbenchers have called on their party to vote with Labour. I understand that the party leadership will argue that this would put them in an impossible position with their Conservative coalition partners and may recommend that their MPs abstain instead.

Even a decision by the Lib Dems to abstain and thus not give their backing to Mr Hunt or the prime minister's judgement on his future would cause significant tension within the coalition.

Hours before the motion is debated Nick Clegg will be giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry at which he will assert his party's independence from the Murdochs. The following day David Cameron will face cross-examination about how he handled the BSkyB bid, allegations against Mr Hunt and the Tory Party's hiring of Andy Coulson.