A united front from David Cameron and Nick Clegg
Published 16/07/2012 | 01:46
David Cameron and Nick Clegg will stage a show of unity today as they attempt to turn the Government's focus back on to rebuilding the economy and to draw a line under coalition infighting.
The Prime Minister reinforced the message yesterday and warned feuding Tories and Liberal Democrats against a descent into “division and navel-gazing”.
Despite his plea, coalition tensions were underlined by renewed calls from Liberal Democrats for Mr Cameron to deliver on Lords reform and demands from Tory MPs for him to take a tougher stance against Mr Clegg's party.
Mr Cameron's appeal came after a torrid week for the coalition in which a rebellion by 91 Tory MPs forced the Government to put its Lords reform plans on hold. Angry Lib Dems responded by threatening to scupper Conservative plans to redraw the Parliamentary map.
Mr Cameron acknowledged there were “profound areas of disagreement” between the parties but said it was essential that did not stop them working together in the national interest.
“These differences matter and at the next election they will help define us. But we're not in an election, now. We're not even close,” he wrote. “(People) will not tolerate division and navel-gazing. They know that the problems are big and they do not want to see politicians fall out in the process of dealing with them.”
But former Defence Secretary Liam Fox said that the Conservative party had a “particular problem, which is the Liberal Democrats”.