Peter Hoskin

Cameron and Clegg’s message to Tory AV rebels

Cameron and Clegg's message to Tory AV rebels
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So, Cameron and Clegg end the summer break much as they started it: with a public statement on the aims and successes of the coalition government. Their article in today's Sunday Telegraph hops across all the usual touchstones – reform, deficit reduction, people power, and all that – but it lands with an unusually combative splash. In anticipation of tomorrow night's bellwether vote on the AV referendum and redrafted constituency boundaries, the two party leaders write:

"This is an important moment for political renewal. We have different views on the future of our voting system.

But we both recognise that there are genuine concerns about the current system. And we emphatically agree that the decision is not, in any case, for government alone...

...This is precisely the sort of modernisation our Parliament needs – and Labour MPs know it.

Yet, as with deficit reduction and public service reform, they are simply falling back into a comfort zone of outright opposition to anything put forward by the Government.

On Monday night, Labour MPs will troop through division lobbies voting against a referendum on voting reform – a referendum they promised in their manifesto.

Tony Blair claimed his party's three priorities were education, education, education. Now Labour seems to be about opposition, opposition, opposition. In the end, opposition for opposition's sake gets you nowhere."

expected to join their red counterparts