Vince Cable has denied he is angling for the job of Chancellor as George Osborne's credentials were questioned by two Conservative politicians.
A day after he angered Mr Osborne by saying he would "probably" be a good Chancellor, the Liberal Democrat Business Secretary was on his best behaviour yesterday.
"I am not pushing for the job. We are part of a team," Mr Cable said. "We have a collective agreed policy and I am delivering on my bit of it, which centres on the area of industrial strategy. I am not proposing a radically different approach." If he were to be made Chancellor, Mr Cable stressed, "I would be building on what George Osborne has already achieved". He dismissed Labour's criticism that Mr Osborne was a "part-time chancellor" because of his role as a strategist.
But Lord Ryder, a former Conservative chief whip, said: "The Treasury deserves the Chancellor to be there on a full-time basis and to ensure it develops a proper economic strategy." He told BBC Radio 4 that Mr Osborne "can't be Chancellor and remain as a tactician." Nadine Dorries, a Tory MP who has dubbed Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne "two arrogant posh boys", said: "William Hague, needs to become Chancellor."