David Cameron rapped Vince Cable over the knuckles at Prime Minister's Questions today - insisting the business secretary's claim that Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) were "Maoist and chaotic" was actually "not his view".
David Cameron rapped Vince Cable over the knuckles at Prime Minister’s Questions today – insisting the business secretary’s claim that Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) were “Maoist and chaotic” was actually:
“… not his view.”
It’s not the first instance of splits not just between Liberal Democrat ministers but within them, and follows Danny Alexander’s internal devolution over forestry – exposed at last week’s PMQs. On the Scottish Lib Dem website, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury proudly shows off a “Save Our Forest” campaign banner – while taking a chainsaw to DEFRA in England, setting out plans to privatise forests.
And in July, Number 10 had to issue a clarification after Nick Clegg told PMQs that the Iraq was “illegal“, saying the deputy prime minister, the deputy prime minister speaking at the despatch box, was not speaking for the goverment, merely “expressing a personal view”.
As Next Left observed at the time:
“He was not speaking for the government when taking Prime Minister’s Questions today, as Deputy Prime Minister. So what’s the point?
“Next time David Cameron is unavailable, can’t we just cut to the chase and have Andy Coulson deputise instead.
“After all, it seems that he is equipped to speak for the government. And poor Nick Clegg is not.”
Neither, it seems, is poor Mr Cable.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.