Vince Cable's Christmas card list snubs Tory MPs


Not one Tory MP has made it on to Business Secretary Vince Cable's Christmas card list, he revealed today.

Despite the apparent festive snub, the Liberal Democrat insisted he was looking forward to working with his Coalition colleagues again in the New Year.

But that came after the Secretary of State suggested he had only ever imagined the possibility of a deal with the Conservatives in his "nightmares".

In a live webchat with members of Gransnet, an off-shoot of Mumsnet, Mr Cable said: "I'm sending no Christmas cards to Tory MPs, but I look forward to getting back to business working with them in the New Year."

Asked by "flopsybunny" had he ever imagined in his "wildest dreams" that he would end up in coalition with the Conservatives, he said: "No, except as a nightmare! But the best way of dealing with nightmares isn't to hide under the sheets but to get up and deal directly with the things we feared."

He went on to say: "I don't accept that we let the Tories get away with murder.

"We drive hard bargains and I was very pleased yesterday that we got a significant agreement to proceed with radical reform of the banks.

"Recently I was pressed to do things which would have undermined employees' basic rights in the workplace, but didn't go along with them. That's the way we operate, fighting our corner.

"I don't know what the line is I wouldn't cross until I get to it."

The Gransnetters pressed Mr Cable on everything from tuition fees to whether he can cook.

Members also asked him whether he had paid back his winter fuel payment, following on from claims by Lib Dem Lord Oakeshott yesterday that "500,000 top rate taxpayers" benefit from the "farcical tax-free bung".

Mr Cable said: "I haven't given it back. But I do a lot for charities anyway."

Asked how he felt after being "duped" by journalists posing as constituents in a "sting" organised by the Telegraph, he replied: "I felt sick as a parrot, to coin a phrase."