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 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Network Manager - Shepherd's Bush...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Secondary supply teac...
£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Full time German Supply Teacher...