Nick Clegg vows to give ministers time to develop

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Ministers in the new Government will be given more time to prove themselves in their jobs without fear of being reshuffled, as the coalition seeks to "govern for the long term", Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will say today.

The short-termist outlook of the last Labour administration meant that ministers stayed for an average of only 1.3 years in each post, barely giving them time to get to grips with their subjects, Mr Clegg will say.

And he will promise a "horizon shift" in the way Government tackles its tasks, with less focus on the immediate demands of the day and more on the administration's longer-term objectives.

Speaking to the Institute of Government in London, Mr Clegg will say that the "guiding purpose" of the coalition is "to govern for the long term - to take the necessary steps now to ensure a fairer and more prosperous future".

He will argue: "Our political culture has become too focused on immediate needs and demands, rather than considering our obligations to the future. We need a further horizon - the horizon shift that I will address today.

"The truth is that real reform - of public services, of our political system, of our economic system - takes many years of patient execution of a strategy."

Describing the way in which junior ministers under Labour were moved from job to job on a virtually annual basis, often simply to generate media headlines, Mr Clegg will say: "This Government recognises that constant reshuffling of the ministerial deck... is not conducive to good government, and that we will aspire to greater stability in the way ministers are allowed to govern.

"It falls to our political generation - and to this generation as a whole - to take the necessary steps now for a better, fairer future. Reform and change today is necessary if we want mobility and prosperity tomorrow.

"That's the horizon shift we need. That's what the coalition Government is about."