Maude: Coalition could be permanent

By politics.co.uk staff

The Conservative’s coalition with the Liberal Democrats could become permanent, Francis Maude is being quoted as saying.

The Daily Mail reported that the Cabinet Office minister told a private gathering on Friday that Nick Clegg could remain deputy prime minister even if the Conservatives won a majority at the next election.

“Even if the Conservatives win a majority at the next election, there will be a desire to continue with the coalition among parts of the Conservative party,” he is quoted as saying.

He went on to argue that the coalition is a “bloody good thing” and that even Vince Cable, widely seen as the Lib Dem most uncomfortable with the arrangement, was actually an advocate known as Vince “more than you think” Cable.

The reports will worry those Conservatives who believe that David Cameron envisages the coalition as a mechanism to modernise his party well beyond the 2015 election.