David Cameron and Nick Clegg at loggerheads over redrawing of parliamentary boundaries
Tuesday 29 January 2013
David Cameron and Nick Clegg are expected to enter opposing division lobbies today as the Liberal Democrats seek to thwart Conservative plans to redraw parliamentary boundaries before the next general election.
The Prime Minister wants to overturn a Lords defeat that means the boundary review - which could hand the Tories up to 20 extra seats - will not be implemented until after the 2015 election.
But with the Tories short of a majority in the Commons, Downing Street acknowledged that "the arithmetic looks pretty difficult".
Mr Clegg, the Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister, announced last summer that his party would try to delay the review after the Tories forced the abandonment of plans to reform the House of Lords.
Earlier this month Lib Dem peers combined with Labour to back an amendment delaying plans for a boundary review and to cut the number of MPs until after the next general election.
Six of the seven Lib Dem frontbenchers in the upper chamber joined the revolt - the first time in this Parliament that ministers in either House have voted against the Government.
The Prime Minister's spokesman said yesterday that "the application of collective responsibility has been set aside" for the Electoral Registration and Administration Bill.
Asked if Mr Cameron was confident of overturning Lords amendments, the spokesman said: "From the Prime Minister's perspective, the arithmetic looks pretty difficult."
He added: "The Prime Minister's view is that it is very important that this issue comes before the House of Commons. The Prime Minister's view is that he is strongly in favour of smaller, cheaper and fairer politics but it is important that MPs can consider the issue."
The spokesman indicated that no talks were under way with smaller parties in the hope of securing enough votes to force the Bill through.
- 1 Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors: 'I think as far as coloured actors go it gets really difficult in the UK'
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
US blames Russia after rocket attacks in Ukraine kill at least 30
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...
£25000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in Henley-on-Thames, this...
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...