Aside from the party conferences, two big set piece events are looming large in Downing Street’s thinking: the coalition’s mid-term review and the autumn statement. Both of these are expected to be heavy on economic measures as the coalition tries to get growth going again in the face of the headwinds coming off the continent. I understand that extra runways at Stansted are being considered in an attempt to boost aviation capacity in the south east.
David Cameron is also trying to boost the enterprise agenda of Margaret Thatcher’s favourite Cabinet minister Lord Young. He brought forward a meeting on it scheduled for September 5th to Thursday last week. He’s demanding that government departments do more to help entrepreneurs and cut red tape. But, tellingly, this meeting took place with the Business Secretary out of town, suggesting certain tensions within government over this agenda. (In a further demonstration of his status as one of Cameron’s go-to Cabinet ministers, Philip Hammond was invited to this meeting despite it having little to do with the defence brief).
The Prime Minister’s supporters like to say that he is at best when the pressure is really on. The next few months will be a real test of this as he tries to simultaneously deal with an economy that has been contracting for nine months now, discontent within his own party and tensions within the coalition.Tags: Coalition, David Cameron, Lord Young, Philip Hammond, Third Runway, UK politics