There is some understandable concern in Tory circles about David Laws becoming a minister for education. As Paul Goodman says today, there’s a worry that even this brightest orange Lib Dem could end up slowing down Michael Gove’s reform plans. These feelings are undoubtedly heightened by the fact that Nick Gibb, one of the most principled and decent men in politics, has had to make way for Laws and is now on the backbenches.
But one thing Tories shouldn’t fret about is Laws attending Cabinet. That there are two Liberal Democrats in the Quad of four who decide on the biggest questions for the coalition should irritate Tory MPs far more than that one more Liberal Democrat being fitted in round the Cabinet table. Also the presence of Laws, who is in some ways Clegg’s Orange Book conscience, might well encourage the Liberal Democrats to be constructive.
It is imperative that the government avoids falling into the trap of being a zero sum coalition. Laws’ attendance at Cabinet should help prevent that.Tags: Autumn reshuffle 2012, Cabinet, Coalition, David Laws, Liberal Democrats, UK politics