Business as usual for the Coalition

Business as usual for the Coalition

David Cameron has ordered his lieutenants to carry on business as usual to ensure the Coalition survives after last week’s LibDem disaster.

The PM has reminded those around him the aim of the Coalition is to rescue Britain’s economy from ruin.

He is determined to carry on governing with Nick Clegg his deputy and LibDem Cabinet figures at the top table – including wannabe leaders Chris Huhne and Vince Cable.

The wall of noise since last week’s catastrophe for the LibDems lost nine town halls and 748 councillors has been immense.

It has drowned-out memories of why the Coalition was formed in the first place.

One aide said this morning: “Never forget, we are in this to get the country back on the right economic path.

“That’s what the Coalition has promised. It’s what we all signed up for. That’s why the Coalition exists.”

Those inside number 10 are clear – Mr Cameron is anxious to ensure Nick Clegg prospers and will do what he can to shore him up.

It is not easy to pinpoint where the PM can help his deputy in policy terms.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley is sure to see some dramatic changes to his NHS reforms thanks to objections from Mr Clegg behind the scenes.

It appears that Mr Lansley is safe in his job as no10 sends in new advisers to help him communicate. The Premier wouldn’t waste new advisors on a shortly-to-be-reshuffled Secretary of State.

There is doubt over whether or not the LibDems will see a Lords reform Bill, I am told.

Mr Cameron’s associates were not kidding when they made it clear last week “we won’t be issuing lollipops” to Mr Clegg to keep him happy.

But the Premier has gone out of his way to help where he can.

The Tory machine was strangely muted in its response to last Friday’s election triumph.

Any other party at any other time would have been celebrating masterminding a massive “no” vote in the AV referendum.

Winning seats and town halls in the local elections was an extraordinary victory for a government embarked on a programme of savage public spending cuts.

Yet the Conservatives focused exclusively on Labour leader Ed Miliband’s difficulties – almost ignoring their own success.

Mr Cameron ruled early on Friday it was vital not to gloat about their success in case doing so magnified the LibDems’ difficulties.

Those inside number 10 are sure the Coalition will get back to business as usual.

Figures like energy secretary Chris Huhne and business supremo Vince Cable never loved the deal and are unlikely to change their opinion, ever.

One other observation: David Laws is being lined up for a return to government now that the year long probe into his expenses is coming to an end.

I am assured his technical breach of the rules will be overlooked by the Premier who is keen to get him back into a ministerial role.

But with no Cabinet reshuffle on the cards, it’s not clear when or where Mr Laws will get his call-up.


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