Jeremy Hunt has decided it is time for his political renaissance. Having endured a torrid few months over accusations he became too close to News Corp while judging whether the company’s bid for BSkyB should proceed, Hunt has now been touring around the TV studios talking about what a great success the Olympics are going to be.
But his interview for the House magazine, published today, gives the most striking sense yet of his renewed confidence. Asked whether it was still possible for him to become Tory leader, Hunt replied:
This is politics, isn’t it? From hero to zero… but definitely back again. You don’t know where politics is going to end up. I think it’s best not to have any grand plans, but I think you just have to come out of these things wiser and stronger.
Usually the stock politician’s answer to such a question is to play the humble card. But not Hunt. He went on:
It’s been tough, but I’ve come out of it stronger. It can’t get much more rough than having two-thirds of the country saying you should resign… It was very intense but you come out stronger and you see another side of politics which is the rough and tumble. Throughout the entire process, you know, I took the view that I have to be myself and I am very proud of the fact that in the seven years I have been in parliament I haven’t changed as a person.
People who have worked closely with the culture secretary have told me that he feels back on top of his game, in part because it is Theresa May, and not he, who is getting most of the blame for the G4S debacle.
As the Olympics progress, we can expect to see a lot more of Hunt’s smiling face on television. Apart from anything else, he knows he has a job to protect in September’s reshuffle.