It's a letter from the Department for Transport to the Planning Inspectorate (opens PDF), ostensibly concerning a complaint from the stalwart Objector John Hall about Geoff Hoon's meeting with pro-Bypass politicians last November. Whilst this is a rather pedestrian and brief document, it does contain a very interesting new development.
In a highly suspicious move, the letter reveals that the ultimate decision maker on the Bypass project will be the Transport Minister, Baron Andrew 'Bronze' Adonis rather than Who?/Hoon. There are several apparently significant implications in this chess move.
Firstly, that Hoon/Who? doesn't want to be tarnished with making a decision (whatever that may be), and also that he's been rattled by the criticism coming his way that he's usurped the Inquiry with the 'Hoongate' meeting. John Hall has touched a raw nerve here.
Secondly, who (Who?) better to make a decision than an unelected bureaucrat like Adonis? It can't ruin his career because he's not - and never has been - an elected politician. He climbed the greasy pole as one of Tony Blair's policy wonks, after repeatedly failing to become an MP (for the Liberal Democrats!).
Thirdly, Levitt, Purnell and Oldham must be feeling pretty bloody stupid and duped by Hoon's chess move here. They even posed for photos with him for Christ's sake!
Lastly, after the 4NW decision last week, will Adonis agree to meet with Levitt and Purnell? If Levitt went on his own, it'd look like a Gilbert and George convention, increasing the comedic possibilities. Perhaps the best we can hope for is that they'll pose for photos which will result in another in our 'lolprat' series.
More news as we get it.