Posts Tagged ‘Nick Clegg’

Nick Clegg gave David Cameron multiple warnings about hiring Andy Coulson

Phone hacking:

Nick Clegg gave David Cameron multiple warningsaboutthe risks of hiring Andy Coulson,the Deputy Prime Minister has disclosed.

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Mr Clegg said Liberal Democrats had been raising concerns about phone hacking even before the general election, and he was the first person in Government to demand a judge-led inquiry into the allegations.

And the Liberal Democrat leader confirmed that he had raised questions at the time of the creation of the coalition about Mr Cameron’s decision to bring former News of the World editor Andy Coulson into the heart of the Government as Downing Street director of communications. (more…)

David Cameron: in charge of the Coalition from day one

Today marks the first anniversary of a minor political miracle. A year ago tonight, David Cameron stood on the doorstep of No 10 in the aftermath of Gordon Brown’s ignominious exit, his mask of confidence disguising the uncertainty of his situation.
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He had failed to win the election against a vastly unpopular prime minister battered by a crippling recession. It took a stroke of audacity to offer the Liberal Democrats concessions in exchange for a share of power, and without consulting his party. But all he had to go on was the affinity he had established with Nick Clegg, and his conviction that a coalition between like-minded leaders could govern effectively in the national interest. Even now, those who were involved in brokering that deal speak in tones of amazement at how quickly it was put together, and how long it has lasted.

Twelve months later, the Coalition, though dented, is still intact. It has got to work on its central duty of restoring the public finances to credibility, while launching revolutions in the way public services are delivered. Its senior personnel remain in place, even if some prefer to posture. It has carried on with one war – and launched another – while presiding over sweeping cuts to the Armed Forces. It exudes a sense of purpose and competence that continues to withstand individual examples of incompetence or folly. While we cannot be certain that it will last until its self-imposed expiry date of 2015, there is no reason why it should not. (more…)

News of the World closed down: Nick Clegg ‘warned David Cameron of Coulson risks’

David Cameron was personally warned by Nick Clegg about the risks of appointing Andy Coulson as his communications chief but overruled him, a senior Cabinet Minister has disclosed.

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The Deputy Prime Minister was told he had no “standing” to object to the former News of The World editor being given the Downing Street job despite the phone hacking scandal, according to Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary.

Mr Huhne’s comments follow the disclosure by the former Lib Dem leader Lord Ash-down that he also warned the Prime Minister of the “terrible damage” to the coalition if he employed Mr Consul.

Details of the high-level warnings emerged despite Mr Cameron’s insistence that he received “no actionable information” about Mr Consul before the appointment.

On Saturday it was disclosed that Alan Bridger, editor of The Guardian, also contacted Mr Cameron’s aides to warn them about how the News of The World had rehired Jonathan Rees, a private detective knowing that he had served seven years in jail conspiring to frame a woman. (more…)

PMQs: David Cameron wants tax breaks for marriage. Just not yet

imageDavid Cameron fought the last election promising tax breaks for married couples, a policy he is yet to enact in Government. In PMQs today, Emily Thornberry, a Labour MP, kindly pointed out to the PM that Nick Clegg has described his ambition as “patronising drivel”.

With a slightly rueful smile, Mr Cameron happily disagreed with his deputy, and declared: (more…)

AV result could be determined by young Londoners – if they turn out to vote

imageCapital’s younger demographic may be crucial to hopes that yes campaign can overturn poll results in referendum On Thursday 5 May, Martin Radford will pop out of his London flat overlooking the Royal Victoria Dock in the capital’s east end and stroll next door to the polling booth to have his say in the UK’s first national referendum in 35 years.

Radford, a retired restaurateur who serves as a magistrate, has received leaflets from both the yes and no campaigns and concludes that switching to the alternative vote is a good idea. “It will be a fairer way of voting,” he says.

The fear is that Radford will be in the minority of Londoners when it comes to casting a vote for or against replacing the first past the post system, with turnout predicted to be as low as 15% among an eligible electorate of more than five million.

Less than 50 metres from Radford’s door, the referendum result will be announced on 6 May in the Platinum Suite of the expansive ExCeL convention centre. (more…)

Put aside contempt for Nick Clegg in AV referendum, says Peter Hain

imageLabour heavyweight says Labour voters should unite in support of alternative vote to prevent Tories from keeping grip on power Former cabinet minister Peter Hain has called on Labour voters to put aside their contempt for Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and say yes to the alternative vote to prevent the Conservatives from keeping a grip on power.

Backing business secretary’s Vince Cable’s call for an anti-Conservative coalition to deliver a victory for the yes campaign, Hain said Labour supporters should take a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stop the Tories from snatching government from the progressive majority of Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens. (more…)

AV referendum: Cameron and Miliband go to war over crucial vote

imageDavid Cameron and Ed Miliband clashed today as they put forward opposing arguments at two separate rallies for the upcoming referendum on changing the Westminster voting system.

Labour leader Ed Miliband urged people to choose ”hope over fear” and accused those campaigning against the alternative vote (AV) of offering ”simply fear, groundless fears”. (more…)

The Big Society needs a profit motive

It’s the Coalition’s big project – but it will only succeed with the right incentives, argues Andrew Haldenby.

imageThe Big Society is this Government’s Big Idea. Part philosophy, part practical programme, it is the glue that holds together the Coalition’s efforts to reduce the size of the state and make it work much better for the citizen. For this reason, those at the heart of government will have taken very seriously the criticisms of Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, (more…)