Daily Archives: May 11, 2011

By Beth Rigby

Cameron flashed his tribal colours at the 1922 committee on Wednesday. He delighted his backbench MPs by insisting that there would be no concessions to the battered Lib Dems on the back of their dreary election performance, while also robbing Nick Clegg of his self-appointed title of the saviour of the NHS. To the thumping of tables, the prime minister made it very clear that the pause in the NHS reform was his idea.
But he was not the only one retrenching following a bruising AV campaign and local election. Earlier, in an address to his party at the National Liberal Club, Clegg also flexed some muscle as he reminded his deflated activists of all the policies that he had managed to block: replacing the Human Rights Act, cutting inheritance tax for the most wealthy, replacing Trident in this parliament.
The new coalition politics is not just synthetic. On Wednesday night, Lib Dem peers forced through a vote that will see new police commissioners to be appointed rather than elected. Clegg’s “muscular liberalism” would appear to have begun; although Labour points out that many Lib Dem peers voted – as their whips demanded – against the opposition amendment.

It is hard not to conclude that Ed Miliband won the major clash of the day at PMQs* over the direction of NHS reform.

David Cameron cited today’s letter to the Telegraph from 42 GPs, saying they wanted what they called “evolution not revolution”.(They are all heads of recently-formed GPs’ consortia). Read more

Even David Laws’ admirers would pause for thought before rushing to his defence before the report into his expenses is even published tomorrow. Laws has apparently been found guilty of six breaches of the rules and may have to pay back a huge sum of money, according to the Telegraph today. (Although he has already paid back £56,000, as his friend Olly Grender points out in the comments below.)

Sky is reporting that Laws will be suspended from the Commons for seven days and have to make an apology to the House. Read more