UK & World News
PM 'More Committed Than Ever' To Coalition
David Cameron has insisted he is "even more committed" to the coalition than he was when it was formed two years ago.
In what has been billed as a "relaunching of the coalition" the Prime Minister appeared with his deputy Nick Clegg to emphasise the strength of the Conservative and Liberal Democrats partnership.
The pair were immediately accused of "patting each other on the back" instead of addressing the country's needs.
The Prime Minister admitted questions had been raised about the future of the partnership in the wake of the Tory rebellion last week over House of Lords reform.
But he said there was a "huge momentum" in the Government to rebalance the economy and education reforms.
He said: "I just want to say I am even more committed to coalition government, to making this coalition government, today than I was in May 2010 when Nick Clegg and I formed this government.
"I believe it has real purpose, a real mission."
Mr Cameron was speaking on a joint visit to Birmingham with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, where they announced a £9.4bn investment in the electrification of Britain's railways.
Mr Clegg dismissed the Lords row as one of the "bumps in the road" to be expected in the circumstances, especially on an issue which excited strong opinions among politicians.
But despite disagreements between the two parties, he added: "None of that will stop us from continuing to govern in the national interest for the country."
The men sought to draw a line under angry exchanges between the two parties in the wake of last week's Tory revolt which threatens to derail Mr Clegg's plans for House of Lords reform.
Despite a weekend appeal by Mr Cameron to put aside "division and navel-gazing", senior figures on each side engaged in sniping over the future of the power-sharing administration.
Echoing the Prime Minister's message about the coalition being stronger now than in 2010, Mr Clegg acknowledged that they disagreed on some issues.
"We are two different parties: he doesn't agree with all my opinions and I don't agree with all his opinions. That's coalition government.
"It's tough also to be in government in difficult times. It is not always a walk in the park or in the rose garden," he said in a reference to the first such joint news conference.
"You also get some bumps in the road in the Westminster village as we did last week on House of Lords reform.
"House of Lords reform so happens to be one of those things that gets politicians really hot under the collar in the Westminster village, particularly those who are opposed to change.
"It always has done and I imagine it always will. But none of that will stop us from continuing to govern in the national interest for the whole country.
"Above all that means accepting that there are no simple, quick, easy short cuts which secure instant political popularity.
"We need to put short-term popularity to one side and get on with making the big long-term reforms and changes that this country so desperately needs," he said - identifying those areas as economic and social renewal.
Mr Cameron said that in two years there had been only "one or two episodes like last week" and that the major revolt did not reflect deeper problems within the coalition.
"You always have bumps and scrapes and difficulties along the way. That is the nature of politics," he said in response to questions.
"With the House of Lords you always have to be frank: there are people on both sides of the argument, people of principle. Some of them have held their views either for or against having elected members for a very long time.
"So I do not take that as an indicator of the health of the Government or its momentum or its purpose. I think it has real purpose, real momentum and that is what we are committed to driving forward in the years ahead."
There was "much more to come" on the shared agenda, he said, and promised a "mid-term review" would be published later in the summer.
Over the weekend, Mr Cameron urged Conservatives and Liberal Democrats to come together behind the coalition and not to descend into "division and navel-gazing".
Michael Dugher MP, Labour's Shadow Minister without Portfolio, said: "The sight of David Cameron and Nick Clegg congratulating themselves on their 'success' at a time when they've delivered a double dip recession made in Downing Street shows how out of touch they are. What planet are they living on?
"Cameron and Clegg's time would be better spent addressing the needs of the country, rather than patting each other on the back at press conferences."
The appearance of Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg at the press conference failed to halt the angry exchanges over Lords reform.
Former Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell warned that his party's MPs may refuse to back Conservative plans to redraw parliamentary boundaries - thought to be worth an extra 20 seats to the Tories at the next general election - unless Lords reform goes ahead.
On the Conservative side, the chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee, Graham Brady, said he believed the coalition was now "very likely" to come to an end before the general election, set for 2015.
what do you think?
The only thing those 2 bozos are committed to is stupid issues like same gender marrige unlike the economy its easier for them to comprehend.......or so they thnk
its a load of bluff, the two parties are afraid to split because then labour wud move in with a large majority and be in power for another 10 years...oh my God :(
What a load of rubbish, the guy Calamity would ditch the LibDems if he could, he cant because he knows his time is up and he is clinging on to power. Clegg the coward is doing the same, roll on the next election get this shower of posh boys out
Just looked at the picture all I have to say is " Dumb and Dumber" make your own mind up which is which
Nah, I'd say laurel and hardy :)
I *like* Laurel and Hardy...
Cameron would admit to eating shergar if he thought it would keep him as prime minister. It's all a load of garbage. Get the posh boys out!!!!!!
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We are unused to coalitions in this country, except in wartime. On the continent, coalitions are more common but seldom hang together for more than 2 years. Cameron must know this. I think the more he protests that he is committed to the coalition, the more I suspect that the cracks are showing and that the end is in sight. Goodness knows what sort of government we will have next time. I dread having Labour back, but this lot are useless and have no idea of how to tackle the big issues, which is why they waste time on such things as same gender marriage, AV and Lords reform. As for the economy, the EU, defence, immigration......
He hasn't said he is committed to the coalition. He has said he is more committed than he was in 2010 - which could be something completely different. Maytbe he was totally against the coalition in 2010 and now he's just not sure, so now he is more committed than he was in 2010. These politicians couldn't give a straight answer to a straight question if their granny's life depended on it.
what a load of pants ,these two muppets couldn't agree on what day of the week it was !. This is obviously a mis print should read "P.M should be committed" .Pair of idiots.
What a lovely idea. If only...
and they will both welcome another 3million in to country with open arms.... idiots
TONY BLAIR AWAITS IN THE WINGS OH MY LORD!! ED BALLS STILL IN THE LABOUR PARTY OH BOY!! HARRIET HARMEN MISS FEMINIST & MISS P.C. MUMMY.
Barry what a plonker you are or should I say Tory plonker if you beleive Calamity and Clueless By the way didnt Ed Balls recently wipe the floor with Gormless George Osbourne in a recent debate
I hope he remembers his words when he is kicked out for all his broken promises he has made,Human Rights Act Europe who is the biggest party in our Coalitian??????? it must be Lib Dems because they tell Mr Cameron what to do.
reforms clegg says ,destroyed the NHS next year new tax for the poor bedroom tax people will be kicked out of there home the rich get big tax breaks your a disgrace clegg
'committed' yes he should be-any mental asylum will do.
Whatever you do chaps ! keep the imports coming in, we don`t want our people having to go to work again. Oh, and make sure our subs to the EU are up to date.
of course he's comitted to the coalition, if the coalition split there would be a general election' cameron would lose it then be sacked & the lib dems would be hammered, so they will have to stay in coalition for political reasons more than anything else.
He is an idiot because he effectively allowing a party with 50 seats to run the country. Get a back bone man!!
More and more grass roots Tories are leaving for UKIP. I really hope some MPs have the guts to go too.
It's the only way either of them can hang o. To power and they're desperate to do that
On the continent, coalitions are more common but seldom hang together for more than 2 years. I think the more he protests that he is committed to the coalition, the more likely things are beginning to unravel. Perhaps he is getting tired of LibDem blackmail. Their claim that Lords reform is in return for supporting reducing the number of MPs and redrawing Parliamentary constituencies is wrong, that was in return for AV, which the population rejected. Goodness knows what sort of government we will have next time. I dread having Labour back, but this lot are useless and have no idea of how to tackle the big issues, which is why they waste time on such things as same gender marriage, AV and Lords reform. As for the economy, the EU, defence, immigration......