The Telegraph’s latest Lib Dem revelations
are embarrassing for
the ministers concerned, but won’t cause the coalition much trouble. Ed Davey is caught being critical of the announcement to take child benefit away from higher-rate taxpayers and expressing
concerns about the changes to housing benefit. Michael Moore, the Scottish Secretary, is captured expressing regret about the Lib Dem u-turn on tuition fees and saying he couldn’t work with
Tories like Liam Fox "for very long." Steve Webb, the highly numerate pensions minister, was trapped into revealing that he had written to the Chancellor about the child benefit changes
because "the details aren’t right."
There are, the Telegraph tells us, more of these revelations to come. One fascinating thing to watch will be how the coalition responds to the Telegraph’s work. Sending out reporters to pose
as constituents and lure MPs into indiscretions is not usual journalistic practice. If any paper had done this to New Labour in its first term, the paper would have paid a high price in terms of
cooperation from the government.