Tories test the water on coalition ‘divorce’ before election
THE Tory leadership is reportedly gauging opinion for a “coalition divorce” a year before the next election in 2014.
According to reports over the weekend, key advisers to Prime Minister David Cameron and senior Tory backbenchers are discussing a separation of ways with the Lib Dems.
It comes as new figures revealed the Lib Dems are losing support, with their membership dropping by a quarter in the last 12 months from 65,038 to 48,932 members.
And unhappiness within the coalition has also been underlined with sources close to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg revealing that he is demanding more powers in the reshuffle, which is expected in early September.
Tensions between the two coalition parties are set to ignite shortly again over House of Lords reform with Tory rebels set to attempt to block bringing elections to the upper House for a second time.
The Lib Dems have privately threatened to retaliate by blocking boundary changes the Tories need to win the next election and other key Tory policies such as English education reform.
A Tory source said that discussions on a potential divorce with senior MPs and Number 10 had now gone “beyond chitchat.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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