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 Malaysian cyclist could face disciplinary action after 'Save Gaza' gloves protest
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 Fifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage from US parenting groups
- 4 McDonald’s removes chicken nuggets from the menu in Hong Kong amid major food scare
- 5 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli targeting policy under scrutiny after shellfire hits a mother and child, a school full of refugees and a doctor’s home
MH17 crash: Investigators discover more human remains and 'huge section of plane'
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
McDonald’s removes chicken nuggets from the menu in Hong Kong amid major food scare
Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...
Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...
£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...