United Kingdom

Coalition in political crisis


A political crisis is blowing in the United Kingdom’s coalition government.

Last week the junior party in the coalition, the Liberal Democratic Party refused to back a motion of confidence in Jeremy Hunt the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport. Hunt is a member of the senior partner in the coalition, the Conservative Party, and has faced questions over his partiality in the News Corporation bid to take over BskyB a satellite broadcasting company.

In turn a growing rebellion by Conservative backbenchers is refusing to support a bid by Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg to reform the upper house of parliament, The Lords. There is a general antipathy towards Clegg’s reforms by Conservatives and they felt empowered by the failure of the Liberal Democrats to support their man.

Yesterday the split widened when Nick Clegg, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, slammed plans put forward by Conservative Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, to scrap GCSE educational qualifications.

The only thing that seems to keep both parties in coalition is a realisation that the opinion polls suggest that they would lose any forthcoming general election. That hasn’t stopped Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and senior Liberal Democrat, Vince Cable from talking to senior figures in the opposition including the Labour Party Leader, Ed Miliband, about forming a progressive coalition after the next election.

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