Posts Tagged ‘parliamentary boundaries review’

Clegg blinks

10/07/2012, 07:58:41 PM

Or at least he is trying to blink. Whether his party lets him is another matter. Word reaches Uncut from the yellow side of the fence that the Lib Dem leadership are engaged a tentative operation to defuse the bomb they carefully primed, and pull back from vetoing the Tories new parliamentary boundaries.

It had been assumed that the Lib Dems would take their revenge on the Tories for sinking Lords reform by blocking the new parliamentary constituency boundaries. But, after some emollient words from the prime minister earlier in the day, a commitment to get something through in Autumn and perhaps an extra biscuit with his cup of tea, Nick Clegg wants to work it out with the Tories.

Talk of tit for tat retaliation is being played down as the Lib Dems and Tory press teams try to pin the blame on Labour before the watching gallery of aghast Lib Dem activists.

Clegg still has his eye on passing a Lords reform bill in the Autumn, either stripped down to resemble Lord Steel’s token effort at reform or potentially something more ambitious with a firm commitment to a referendum after the first election to the new chamber but before the second.

Why the emboldened Tory rebels would put down their cudgels in three months is unclear. Certainly there’s no love lost for David Cameron who was being openly ridiculed by jubilant rebels as they celebrated in the bars of Westminster.

But Clegg still thinks he can salvage his legacy with a constitutional bill that could nominally have the prefix ‘historic’ appended, and as a result, David Cameron seems to have been granted the benefit of the doubt from his junior partner yet again.

The next 24 hours will determine whether Nick Clegg can sell his conciliation to the beaten and battered Lib Dems or whether this time, there will actually be a yellow reckoning with the Tories, regardless of Nick Clegg’s dreams of the history books.

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