.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

What else did Norman Baker expect?

I am still trying to get my head around Norman Baker's resignation as a Minister in the Home Office. He says that he resigned after facing a “constant battle” to introduce policies in the face of a Tory “lurch to the right” in pursuit of Ukip voters and likened his experience of working under the home secretary to “walking through mud":

Baker told the BBC News channel: “The home secretary was reluctant to let me have my head and it was a constant battle to try to get things through. That is unfortunate not just for the Home Office but actually for the government.”

The former minister dismissed criticism from Damian Green, who was sacked as a Home Office minister in the Tory summer reshuffle, that he had acted as a “Lib Dem home secretary” on a par with May.

Baker said: “We are in a coalition government and therefore it was right that I took an interest in matters right across the department which is no different to how I behaved in the Department for Transport.”

But he said that his battle was complicated by the Tories’ “lurch to the right” in response to the Ukip threat.

“I have done it for a year, it is very hard work, the Home Office is probably at the cutting edge of the
coalition,” he said. “It is where most policy issues are difficult, whether it is Europe or immigration. It has not been helped by the lurch to the right from the Conservative party as they chase Ukip off to the fringes.”

Baker said there was no point in hanging on to office. “We don’t always have to cling to office as ministers. If we think there is a time to go, there is a time to go. I want a break. I want to spend more time with my family, more time in my constituency, more time doing stuff I want to do, like my music.”

That may well be the case but really, what did he expect? Norman Baker is perfectly entitled to make his own decision on this of course. I thought he was an excellent Minister and welcomed the fact that he stood up for liberal values in a department not famed for its adherence to such principles.

In that regard he will be a loss. However, it does not help the case for the party or for coalition politics when a Minister of his calibre flounces out in this way.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?