Tories 'think they're born to rule' says Simon Hughes
Monday 07 May 2012
Liberal Democrat deputy leader Simon Hughes today hit out at Tory MPs - accusing them of acting as if they were "born to rule".
In a further sign of tensions between the coalition partners, Mr Hughes said that Conservatives must stick by their agreements - including reform of the House of Lords.
Since last week's drubbing for the coalition parties in the local government elections, Tory MPs have been lining up to demand changes in Government policy complaining the Lib Dems have too much influence.
However Mr Hughes said that the Conservatives needed to remember that they failed to secure an overall majority at the general election and they needed Lib Dem support in order to form a Government with a working majority.
"I know that Tories would have liked to have won the general election, but they didn't. They didn't get a majority and they haven't had a majority for many elections," he told BBC Radio 4's The World at One.
"It may be uncomfortable for the Tories - some of whom think they are born to rule - but unfortunately the electorate didn't agree with them."
Mr Hughes said it was important that both parties honoured the coalition agreement - including the commitment to a wholly or largely elected House of Lords which many Tory MPs want dropped from Wednesday's Queen's Speech.
"All three parties, including the Conservatives, stood on a manifesto of addressing the fact that the House of Lords is there entirely by patronage or by hereditary," he said.
"The Tory leadership is as signed up to that as the Labour leadership and our leadership, that we need to have a modern legislature."
Mr Hughes said also that the Conservatives only had themselves to blame for the unpopularity of the Budget as they had demanded the cut in the 50p top rate of tax.
"It was probably more than anything the Conservative insistence on putting the reduction of the top tax rate into the Budget which gave the Budget a bad name," he said.
"Instead of the really good message which we had argued should be the central core of the Budget - which was to lift the tax threshold benefiting 25 million - that got lost and both paid parties paid a price for that."
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