Clegg takes swipe at the Tories

Nick Clegg took a swipe at his Tory coalition partners as he claimed the Liberal Democrats were "the only party that can speak credibly about creating jobs". Addressing a rally of activists, he branded the Conservatives "the party of fire at will."

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Cable tells Lib Dem activists of coalition tensions

Business Secretary Vince Cable has told Lib Dem activists of "tensions" with Conservatives inside the coalition over the Government's policy on energy and climate change.

Mr Cable told a fringe meeting at the party's Glasgow conference: "There is no point disguising the fact that we have had a very tense relationship with the Tories on that issue and we haven't got all we wanted.

Business Secretary Vince Cable.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said the Lib Dems have had 'a very tense relationship' with the Tories on climate change. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

"On the Tory side, it isn't the primitive climate change denying stuff or even petty stuff around windmills in your back garden - though that sort of thing does go on - but it is about the cost.

"The Tory argument is not that green is a bad thing, but that it is expensive and somebody has got to pay, and they are resisting it on those grounds".

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Clegg takes a swipe at his Tory coalition partners

Nick Clegg took a swipe at his Conservative coalition partners as he claimed the Liberal Democrats were "the only party that can speak credibly about creating jobs".

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg addressing a rally of activists at the Lib Dem conference.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg addressing a rally of activists at the Lib Dem conference. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Addressing a rally of activists at the Liberal Democrat annual conference in Glasgow, the Deputy Prime Minister claimed credit for blocking Tory-backed plans to make it easier for bosses to fire workers.

But Mr Clegg branded the Conservatives "the party of fire at will" and said that without opposition from the Lib Dems, "bizarre" reforms to employment law proposed by venture capitalist and Tory donor Adrian Beecroft would have become law.

Tory housing plan 'could re-inflate' property bubble

The Liberal Democrats have criticised their Conservative coalition partners for being inconsistent and warned their flagship housing policy could do more harm than good.

Speaking at the party's conference in Glasgow, Liberal Democrat party president Tim Farron said:

Lib Dems called it right in May 2010 - we see the evidence slowly emerging of a stronger economy, with higher growth and lower unemployment.

But only the complacent would think that we're out of the woods. And there's some who seem content to steer us straight back into those woods. We still face the danger of a re-inflating housing market, unsustainable growth fed by cheap credit and real growth thwarted for want of skills.

– Liberal Democrat party president Tim Farron

Senior Lib Dem ministers to push for pay increases

Danny Alexander and Vince Cable have called for wages to increase as the UK economy continues to recover.

Cable, the Business Secretary, will reportedly push for an increase to the minimum wage after saying “we cannot go on forever in a low pay and low productivity world”.

Alexander told the Telegraph that, as growth returns to the economy, “workforce will want to and should share in that success.”

75% of voters 'reject' Lib Dems in party opinion poll

Up to three quarters of voters will not support the Liberal Democrats whichever direction the party moves in, an unpublished internal party poll suggests.

Nick Clegg's party secured 23% of the vote at the 2010 general election and senior party sources have targeted 25% in 2015.

Of the target, around 10% - which fits with the Lib Dems' recent opinion poll ratings - would definitely vote for the party, while the remaining 12%-15% would consider supporting it. Of that latter group, there is an even split between "soft Labour and soft Conservative" voters.

But there is very little chance of the remaining 75% of voters changing their minds and deciding to cast their ballot for Mr Clegg's party. A source said the party would not be concentrating on this group at the election.

Clearly we lost a lot of support by going in to coalition with the Conservatives but the clear position is that for the people who would vote for us, or would consider voting for us, that isn't their issue.

But for the people who wouldn't vote for us, that is an issue.

– Liberal Democrat source

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Clegg to declare Lib Dems as the 'party of jobs'

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg will address a rally in Glasgow today and declare that his party is "the party of jobs" in government.

In an extract from his speech at the Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference rally, the Deputy Prime Minister is expected to say:

Tonightwe’re talking about jobs. The Coalition Government has created a million jobs,and I want us to create a million more: a million jobs for a stronger economy.You’ve just seen that wonderful video telling us about the first jobs held byour MPs. And the job of all of us now, as a party of government, is to helpother people into work.

We are the ones that can campaign as the party of jobs. We are the only party that believes in releasing the potential of everyone, creating a society where everybody gets a fair chance in life. And that means making sure they get the opportunity to find work.

Read: Lib Dems 'target 25% of electorate' at next election

Lib Dems 'target 25% of electorate' at next election

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will address a Liberal Democrat rally in Glasgow today.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will address a Liberal Democrat rally in Glasgow today. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Liberal Democrats can win a quarter of the votes at the next election despite a series of opinion polls suggesting the party has haemorrhaged support since the formation of the coalition Government, senior sources believe.

The party intend to focus on the "soft" Labour and Conservative votes that are believed to be up for grabs, on top of the core support that has stayed loyal despite the tough choices and compromises that have been made since taking office in 2010.

But as activists gathered in Glasgow for the Liberal Democrats' autumn conference a survey of the party's supporters showed nearly half believed Nick Clegg was taking it in the wrong direction.

The Lib Dems secured 23% of the vote at the 2010 election and based on internal polling carried out over the last year senior party sources believe they can achieve a similar - or even slightly higher - share in 2015.

Read: Lib Dems 'to distance themselves' from coalition at party conference