Nick Clegg defends boundaries vote stand
Tuesday 15 January 2013
Liberal Democrats were “perfectly reasonable” to block boundary changes in return for the Tories' failure to meet other parts of the coalition deal, Nick Clegg said.
The Deputy Prime Minister hit back at Conservative critics after his peers sided with Labour to inflict a bruising defeat on the Government last night.
They secured an amendment delaying the implementation of the constituency shake-up - thought by experts to be worth up to 20 extra seats for the Tories - until after the 2015 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.
Downing Street said Prime Minister David Cameron would seek to overturn the amendment in the Commons, but without an overall Tory majority the parliamentary arithmetic is against him.
Mr Clegg made clear over the summer that the Lib Dems would seek to delay the plans after he was forced to abandon plans to reform the House of Lords in the face of Tory opposition.
In the aftermath of the vote, he was accused by Conservative peers of "cheating" and "a great political sulk".
But Mr Clegg told BBC Radio 4's Today: "You will remember, of course, back in the referendum on the Alternative Vote system the highly-regrettable personalised attack by the Conservatives then.
"You will remember, of course, the House of Lords debate where the Conservative Party decided not to proceed with reform even though it was in their own manifesto and the Coalition Agreement.
"I have been very open about the fact that a coalition, by definition, is a package deal and when one side of that package, that deal, does not honour their side of the agreement then I think it's perfectly reasonable for the other side (to look at other parts of it).
"We are not voting them down; what we are saying is there is going to be a delay of five years.
"We are leaving the boundary changes on the statute book but we are saying that we should miss a beat and do it in the next parliament not this one."
- 1 Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: It is only rape if the victim is conscious
- 5 Katie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge: ‘I hate fat people for making me do this’
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
£30000 - £45000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Front-Of...
£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Developer C++, Python, STL, R, PD...
£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Java/Calypso Developer Java, Calypso, J2EE, J...
£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer SQL, C#, Stored Procedures, MDX...