Business secretary Vince Cable used his local newspaper to reveal he will vote with the government in tonight’s crunch debate on university tuition fees.
The leading Liberal Democrat politician spoke to the Richmond and Twickenham Times to end national media speculation that he may abstain in the vote.
In a face-to-face interview at Mr Cable’s constituency office in Twickenham on Friday, he told told Times chief reporter Paul Teed that he would vote in favour of the fee rise.
With last week’s paper already having gone to bed, the story was uploaded to its website later that day and swiftly made national headlines.
Times editor David Rankin said: “We can be much more effective doing things quickly online. In this case, we have been able to move the story on and put together a much better package for the next edition of the paper.”
The paper’s exclusive sparked student protests outside Mr Cable’s office once the news of his voting intentions became public, which were also subsequently covered on the website.
The Times is also planning live online coverage of tonight’s vote with local reaction to the outcome, directing people to a full report in tomorrow’s print edition of the paper.