James Forsyth

The coalition agreement at a glance

The coalition agreement at a glance
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I have just had a quick read through the coalition agreement and a few things jumped out at me. First, this new government will not abolish Lord Mandelson. The agreement states that while the parties are committed to a wholly or mainly elected Lords ‘likely there will be a grandfathering system for current Peers’.  

The Tory manifesto commits a Conservative government to introducing ‘new rules so that legislation referring specifically to England, or to England and Wales, cannot be enacted without the consent of MPs representing constituencies of those countries.’ The coalition agreement has watered this commitment down significantly. The new government will merely ‘establish a commission to consider the ‘West Lothian question’.

Lib Dem MPs will still get to oppose tuitions fees if they want to. Something that is important to the Lib Dems seeing as how many of their target seats are in university towns.

One relatively minor but important thing the agreement is its silence on the hunting ban. The Tories were going to allow a free vote in government time on this issue. We shall have to see if that still stands.