Cracks form in the Coalition as Clegg considers future with Labour
The deputy prime minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats has said that he would consider a coalition partnership with Labour in the next general election.
Speaking to an audience in Cambridge, Nick Clegg said that he would enter talks with an open mind if the party and its voters were behind the decision.
His comments have been criticised party powerhouse Sir Menzies Campbell, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats. Sir Menzies believes that talk of a future Lib-Lab coalition is causing unneeded pressure on the current government.
He told the House magazine, “The success of this coalition depends upon everyone who participates in it being a full subscriber.”
Talk of a Lib-Lab coalition is risky for Clegg, as he is currently facing a lot of criticism from the Labour party leadership.
Recently, shadow chancellor Ed Balls revealed that he could not see himself working with the Liberal Democrats if Clegg was still party leader. Balls indicated that Ed Milliband shared this sentiment.
At the same time, Milliband and Balls have made it very clear that they would be open for discussions with Vince Cable. A senior Lib Dem and current Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Cable would be a real contender in any future Lib Dem leadership contest.
Speaking at a Policy Network conference, Balls said, “If Vince Cable would like to sit down and have a serious conversation about how we can make our economy work for the long term then we can have that discussion.”
At a time when his position is under question, Nick Clegg needs to be careful in his balancing act between Labour and the Conservatives.