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Andrew Bolt gets back to politics after considering resignation

News Limited’s outspoken political commentator and blogger Andrew Bolt has resumed normal service after a day of refusing to write about politics in what appeared to be a standoff with the company.  

At midnight on Monday night Bolt – whose offering is promoted as “Australia’s most read political blog” – posted: “No politics until further notice. Principles to weigh up. Faith to keep. Sorry.”

The comment came after the day’s events which saw The Australian withdraw and apologise for allegations it had made about Julia Gillard, but most of the claims remain on Bolt’s blog.

Bolt’s comments generated heavy speculation among his readers as to the reason.

But on Tuesday afternoon he posted an update saying: “Afrer discussions, I now feel free to speak my mind. So I shall. In tomorrow’s column. I apologise for the mysteriousness, but I did not want to act in anger or before matters had been resolved. I had to be fair to my employer and to my readers, and I apologise if you think I’ve had the balance wrong over the past 24 hours. Thank you to everyone who has rung, emailed or commented on this post, here and on radio.

Wednesday update: In his column today, Bolt said he considered resigning.

He tells readers:

“Yesterday morning I was considering resigning as a News Limited columnist.

“I thought this company that I love, that I have long admired for its defence of free speech, had caved in to pressure from a Prime Minister to close down reporting of a matter of public interest.

“That matter was (edited by Mumbrella for legal reasons)

“I was under instructions not to comment on this myself, after I wrote about it on my blog on Saturday, until further legal advice was received.

“Posts from my blog were pulled on Monday, although I believe they were fair, accurate and in the public interest.”

In the post, Bolt claims that Gillard “went ballistic” and “nuclear”  and called News Limited boss John Hartigan several times.

Bolt suggests that fear of a threatened inquiry into media ownership may have been behind News Limited caving in to Gillard. He said: “I have not the slightest doubt that Gillard’s suggestions of an inquiry greatly worried News Limited, and influenced its overreaction to the Prime Minister’s fury these past days.Whether Gillard specifically mentioned the threat of an inquiry in her ‘multiple’ calls to News Limited executives I do not know. ”

He added: “I could not do my job, and I consulted friends about resigning. I am now told that News Limited was just being cautious while it checked its legal position.”

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