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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Five full years

As a Liberal Democrat I will not deny that it has been an interesting couple of weeks. Who would have thought that it would be my party that showed better than our coalition partners the discipline and unity necessary to govern.

For all the speculation the Liberal Democrats stand full square behind Nick Clegg in delivering the party's agenda of lower taxes for the poorest in our society, taxing wealth and excess profits from the banks, better pensions and a greener Britain. The danger is that the Tory Party's disunity and infighting will undermine the consensus we have helped to build for a fairer society.

That is why I was pleased to see Nick Clegg yesterday trying to steady the ship. As the Guardian reports the Liberal Democrats leader warned Tory MPs off "arcane, shrill and tongue-twisting manoeuvres in parliament", saying it distracted the public from the government's main goal of sorting out the economy:

Insisting he was confident of his place in the coalition, he said: "Anyone who is wargaming about what may or may not happen in my party is wasting their time. I am going to be leader of this party up to, through and beyond the next general election. The Liberal Democrats, despite all the predictions to the contrary, have proved to be the calmest, most resilient and most united party in British politics today."

Cameron, pressed on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, whether the coalition would last the full five years, said: "That is absolutely my intention and has always been. To anyone who doubts what life there is left in the coalition, I would argue there is more to come – very bold reforming, and strong government, and that is what we'll be right up until polling day."

Of course there will always be differences between us, especially on Europe, civil liberties and constitutional reform, but the national interest dictates that we finish the job we started of trying to steady the ship and put the economiy back to rights.
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