... by saying he never hit anyone.
Well, nobody ever said he did, but it seems that in response to Andrew Rawnsley's claims in the Observer, the spin-meisters in Downing Street have decided to invent a claim that wasn't made and denied that instead, making sure they get their denial out first, with a compliant BBC ready and willing to publish the denial before they had even heard the claim.
Likewise the denial that the Cabinet Secretary had launched an inquiry, rather than the investigation (i.e. asking a few questions) that was claimed. What's the difference? Not much, but enough to allow the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Secretary to deny that an inquity took place whilst not mentioning the investigation.
The voters used to fall for this sort of con-trick, but after 13 years, my guess is most of them aren't fooled any more.