James Forsyth

The pressure on Cameron to call Clegg’s bluff

The pressure on Cameron to call Clegg's bluff
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The debate over the Beecroft report is now the politics of the viscera. For Tory MPs it has become symbolic of how the Liberal Democrats — and Vince Cable, in particular — are holding them back from doing what they need to get the country out of this economic emergency. On the Liberal Democrat side it has become emblematic of everything about Steve Hilton — ‘Thatcher in a t-shirt’ as they dubbed him — that annoyed them.

Adrian Beecroft’s intervention today in the Telegraph and the Mail is bound to increase Tory tensions on the matter. He tells the Mail that Cameron and Osborne have ‘given up’ on unfair dismissal. But it is this section from his Telegraph interview that is the real rapier blow:

‘“I’m constantly struck by how un-robust the Prime Minister and the Chancellor are when it comes to pushing back,” he says.

“Nick Clegg [is] always threatening to go nuclear and dissolve the whole thing if he doesn’t get his way with this, that and the other. Which you’d think actually must be a hollow threat.

“Therefore, why can’t the Government be more robust? I don’t know what the answer is.”’