X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Coffee House

Clegg rejects ‘cash-for-seats’ deal for boundaries

16 October 2012

1:28 PM

16 October 2012

1:28 PM

Deputy Prime Minister’s questions is quite often a slightly grumpy affair, with Nick Clegg huffing and puffing at irritating questions from Peter Bone about what position he would take in the government if David Cameron were run over by a bus. This morning’s session wasn’t much different: it was even more bad-tempered as backbenchers were keen to pick at scabs on the failure of Lords reform.

The Deputy Prime Minister continually defended the Liberal Democrats’ decision to block the boundary reforms, criticising Labour for failing to support the programme motion for the House of Lords Reform Bill. It was like watching a couple who had broken up continue to bicker about whose fault it was. Bone attacked Clegg for linking the changes to constituencies with the failure of House of Lords reform, saying:

‘The Conservative members of the Coalition delivered AV – the House of Lords reform Bill delivered the opportunity for AV. The biggest majority in this parliament, the biggest majority was for House of Lords reform. How can the Deputy Prime Minister vote against the boundary review and expect to remain in government?’

[Alt-Text]


Clegg was tickled by this:

‘I am delighted that – if fleetingly – the honourable member was in favour of AV… We are honouring the coalition agreement by putting the boundary review legislation on the statute books… but we are not, for the reasons I have already explained, going to vote for the changes.’

Then he came out with a joke:

‘I have also read in the papers reports that the chair of the Conservative party wishes to strike a deal with us on the boundaries in return for a party funding deal. I suppose, Mr Speaker, finally that’s a get rich quick scheme that he’s proud to put his name to!’

MPs roared ‘more! more!’ Clegg looked pleased with himself, and gave them a bit more:

‘Put it this way: a change of mind on my part on this issue is as likely as the honourable member for Wellingborough (Peter Bone) going to Norway to accept the Nobel Price on behalf of the European Union. It’s not going to happen.’

Though Conservative MPs privately believe that there is a much better chance of the boundary changes still going through than that, some feel the odds have lengthened. But they still believe that as the vote is a year away, there is still a chance, even though the party itself is starting to select on the basis of old boundaries. Clegg is right to reject a deal for state funding: as I argued yesterday, this would look grubby. But something else might come up over the next few months that the Tories think he’ll find attractive instead. Even if they do, it is very difficult to imagine him going back on such tough talk about opposing the changes.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close