Clegg's low-wage tax pledge

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has said his party would make sure low-wage earners would not pay income tax if his party wins the next election. Schools Minister David Laws said the party was responsible for some of the 'coalition's best policies.'

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Laws denies rift between Clegg and Cable on economy

Education Minister David Laws has denied there is a rift between Vince Cable and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg over economic policy.

"Vince Cable is backing the leadership in the economy debate," he told Channel 4 News.

Education Minister David Laws. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Laws continued: "He has made it very clear throughout the week he supports the motion.

"He is united both on the tax motion that we are debating tomorrow and on the wider economy motion".

Clegg and Cable appear at odds on economy

Tensions between Nick Clegg and Vince Cable over the economy appear to have broken into the open as the Liberal Democrat leader appeals for activists' backing on the key issue.

Mr Clegg will take the unusual step of speaking in favour of a party conference motion that endorses the coalition's strategy and fiscal mandate.

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Vince Cable. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

However, his Business Secretary will not take part in the debate in Glasgow tomorrow - despite earlier suggestions that he would.

Aides also refused to confirm whether Mr Cable would vote in favour of the motion, indicating that he believed it could be "improved".


Lib Dems reject 'illiberal' porn filter plans at conference

Plans to introduce tougher controls to prevent children finding porn on the internet have been thrown out at the Liberal Democrat conference.

Members of the party described the proposals to allow parents to block certain sites as "illiberal" before overwhelmingly rejecting them in a vote.

Prime Minister David Cameron spearheaded an internet filter initiative earlier this year. Credit: Reuters

The policy now goes back to senior party figures for redrafting. They will then decide whether they wants to resubmit the stricter measures to Lib Dem members for another vote at a later date.

Tonight's vote puts the Lib Dems at odds with the Conservatives. Earlier this year, Prime Minister David Cameron spearheaded a new initiative aimed at getting internet providers to put in place internet filters.

Laws: Best coalition policies came from Lib Dems

Schools minister David Laws is a close ally of Nick Clegg Credit: PA

The Liberal Democrats are responsible for a "huge amount" of the best policies to have come out of the coalition, David Laws has claimed.

Schools Minister Mr Laws, who is one of Nick Clegg's closest allies, credited the Lib Dems for coming up with the government's "main tax policy".

He said: "The biggest, most expensive policy that the coalition is delivering is the policy to raise the tax-free personal allowance to £10,000 per year, helping people in lower and middle incomes - that's straight out of the front page of the Lib Dem manifesto."

Speaking on the second day of the party's autumn conference in Glasgow, he compared this to an "odd" pledge by David Cameron to raise the inheritance tax threshold for millionaires to £1m, before it was eventually "junked" by his party.

Clegg: Tax fairness 'signature tune' for Lib Dems

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has said his party would make sure low-wage earners would not pay income tax if his party wins the next election.

Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr show, he said: "Tax fairness will of course be one of the signature tunes for the Liberal Democrats.

"We are committed as a party and I'm very committed to this, to raising the allowance further, such as you pay no income tax, equivalent to the minimum wage."


Clegg: Labour government would 'wreck' recovery

Nick Clegg has had 'no talks' about a second coalition Credit: Reuters

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said a Labour government would "wreck" the recovery and Tories governing alone would produce a recovery that was "neither fair or stable".

Speaking to the BBC's Andrew Marr show, he refused to be drawn on what his "red lines" might be in any coalition negotiations - the policies he "would die in a ditch for".

Mr Clegg said that another coalition government would be the best outcome for the country because it enables the Liberal Democrats to act as a restraining influence on the larger parties of the left and right.

Lord Adonis: Nick Clegg's choices made him irrelevant

Lord Andrew Adonis, a member of the Labour team who negotiated with the Liberal Democrats over a possible pact in 2010 has given a scathing assessment of the Lib Dems' performance in coalition.

Lord Andrew Adonis. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

He wrote in The Observer: "Clegg made a series of serious misjudgments which are costing the country (and his party) dear.

"He has given David Cameron a large majority in return for little more than the power to apply an occasional brake - a power he would have possessed more strongly had the Tories formed a minority government. For the Lib Dems, it has been an exercise in irrelevance.

"For the country, it has yielded years of austerity economics for which they never voted."

Lib Dem leadership and members divided over coalition

The Liberal Democrats are facing a "dilemma", the co-editor of Liberal Democrat Voice said today, after a poll found that large majorities of party councillors and activists would prefer it to go into coalition with Labour than the Conservatives in 2015 if it produces a hung parliament.

Stephen Tall said:

Our survey shows that, despite the pounding the party has taken over the past three years in coalition, Lib Dem members are still eager to stick around in government.

The dilemma, though, is this. Party members clearly prefer a Lib-Lab pact, while the leadership appears to lean to a second coalition with the Tories.

Working with Labour 'not more difficult' than Tories

The Liberal Democrats could work with Labour, the employment minister has told the Independent on Sunday, after a new poll revealed that four out of 10 party activists want the Nick Clegg to form a coalition with Labour in 2015.

Jo Swinson added:

Working in a mature and adult way where you recognise what your shared goal is - that is not something which I think would be particularly more difficult with Labour than it is with the Conservatives.

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