David Cameron and Nick Clegg renew their vows an in attempt to draw a line under weeks of Coalition infighting

 

David Cameron and Nick Clegg today attempted to draw a line under weeks of Coalition infighting with a public show of unity and a pledge to see the Government through to 2015.

The Prime Minister said he was “even more committed” to the Coalition than he was when it was formed two years ago and insisted there was still a “huge momentum” in Government.

He announced that two parties would be publishing a “mid term review” later this summer setting out their priorities for the next two years.

The two men were speaking at an event in Birmingham where they announced details of new investment in Britain’s rail infrastructure.

They unveiled a £9.4 billion package of rail projects, including £4.2 billion worth of new schemes, will include the electrification of the main rail route between London and Sheffield and upgrades to stations and tracks to create capacity for an additional 140,000 daily rail commutes at peak times.

Later this week George Osborne is expected to announce new measures to allow the Government to increase infrastructure spending by using the Government’s favourable credit rating.

There is likely to be an emphasis on house building which ministers have identified as a reasonably quick and cheap way of stimulating growth.

With Parliament rising for the summer recess tomorrow Government strategists are hoping to regain the initiative ahead of the break and put behind then several difficult weeks.

Mr Clegg dismissed the row over Lords reform as a “bump in the road” and said despite disagreements between the two parties “none of that will stop us from continuing to govern in the national interest for the country.”

Mr Cameron admitted questions had been raised about the future of the Coalition in the wake of the Tory rebellion last week over House of Lords reform.

But he added: “I just want to say I am even more committed to coalition government, to making this coalition government, today than I was in May 2010 when Nick Clegg and I formed this government.

“I believe it has real purpose, a real mission.”

Mr Mr Clegg acknowledged that they disagreed on some issues but on the big themes of growth, education and welfare reform they were as one.

“We are two different parties: he doesn't agree with all my opinions and I don't agree with all his opinions. That's coalition government,” he said.

"It's tough also to be in government in difficult times. It is not always a walk in the park or in the rose garden.

"We need to put short-term popularity to one side and get on with making the big long-term reforms and changes that this country so desperately needs," he said - identifying those areas as economic and social renewal.

Mr Cameron said that in two years there had been only "one or two episodes like last week" and that the major revolt did not reflect deeper problems within the coalition.

"You always have bumps and scrapes and difficulties along the way. That is the nature of politics," he said.

"With the House of Lords you always have to be frank: there are people on both sides of the argument, people of principle. Some of them have held their views either for or against having elected members for a very long time.

"So I do not take that as an indicator of the health of the Government or its momentum or its purpose. I think it has real purpose, real momentum and that is what we are committed to driving forward in the years ahead."

There was "much more to come" on the shared agenda, he But despite the show of unity Coalition tensions were underlined by renewed calls from Liberal Democrats for Mr Cameron to deliver on Lords reform and demands from Tory MPs for him to take a tougher stance against Mr Clegg's party.

Graham Brady, the chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee, said he believed the coalition was "very likely" to end before the general election, set for 2015.

"I think it would be logical and sensible for both parties to be able to present their separate vision to the public in time for the public to form a clear view before the election," he said.

He added: "Of course, it is always possible that that moment of separation could come sooner. It's very difficult to predict when that might be."

The former Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, reflecting the feelings of many Tory backbenchers, said that his party had a "particular problem which is the Liberal Democrats". He said: "What I think they have to remember is that they are a sixth of the Coalition, not half the Coalition."

Meanwhile the Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, called on Mr Cameron to ensure his backing for the Lords reform plans. "The Coalition Agreement isn't a pick-and-mix agreement, you've got to deliver on all of it. We're expecting the Prime Minister and the Conservative Party to deliver on the Coalition Agreement."

And the former Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Menzies Campbell, warned that the party's MPs might "find it very hard to swallow" the proposed boundary changes unless Lords reform goes ahead.

News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
Life & Style
life
Arts & Entertainment
Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon in Game of Thrones
tv
Arts & Entertainment
Ken Loach (left) and Mike Leigh who will be going head to head for one of cinema's most coveted prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival
filmKen Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
musicJethro Tull frontman leads ‘prog rock’ revival
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
comedy... writes Jenny Collier, the comedian whose recent show was cancelled because there were 'too many women' on the bill
News
House proud: keeping up with the Joneses now extends to children's playhouses
newsLuxury playhouses now on the market for as much as £800
News
news
Extras
indybest
News
The academic, Annamaria Testa, has set out on her website a list of 300 English words that she says Italians ought to stop using
newsAcademic speaks out against 'Italianglo' - the use of English words in Italian language
Life & Style
tech
Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvRicky Gervais on the return of 'Derek' – and why he still ignores his critics
Sport
Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates his goal
sport
Arts & Entertainment
James Franco and Chris O'Dowd in Of Mice and Men on Broadway
theatreReview: Of Mice and Men, Longacre Theatre
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Apprentice IT Technician

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Sales Associate Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

Day In a Page

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal