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Lib Dem 'hits out at Conservative game-playing'

Education Secretary Michael Gove's deputy, the Liberal Democrat David Laws, is reportedly determined to ensure that "Conservative game-playing" does not destroy the schools inspectorate Ofsted.

Schools minister David Laws
Schools minister David Laws Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

A "Liberal Democrat source" is quoted in several publications saying that "the decision to get rid of [Ofsted chair] Sally Morgan had absolutely nothing to do with her abilities, or even education policy, and everything to do with Michael Gove's desire to get his own people on board."

The move by Mr Gove threatens to "destabilise" and "undermine the independence of" the schools inspectorate, the source is quoted as saying.

Read: Outgoing Ofsted chief: 'No 10 ousting non-Tory officials'

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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.
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".

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.

There is no coincidence in the 'no money' note release

A great deal of political capital was made of the note left at the Treasury, when Labour left office, which said there was "no money".

Now it has been shown in public for the first time to ITV News.

See the note here.

ITV News Political Editor Tom Bradby reports on why it might suddenly have appeared now:

Read more: No coincidence the 'no money' note has been released

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Liam Byrne says his 'no money' note was 'foolish'

Liam Byrne has admitted to ITV News West Country that his note to his successor David Laws that said "I'm afraid there is no money" was "foolish":

Of course it was a very foolish thing to do.

I left something else at the Treasury, which was a Budget I'd drawn up with Alistair Darling that would have halved our deficit over four years.

That was a good plan, it was a plan that would have worked and I'm afraid it was a much better plan that we've ended up with now.

– Former Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne

Laws 'did not set out to embarrass Byrne' over note

David Laws has told ITV News West Country he had not meant to cause any embarrassment to his Labour predecessor at the Treasury, Liam Byrne, when he publicly mentioned the note left for him.

See the note here.

Mr Laws said: "I didn't set out particularly to embarrass Liam, but he'd left a note which frankly does sum up precisely the state of the Treasury when he left it - which was completely empty of money."

Watch ITV West Country political correspondent Bob Constantine's report.

MP did not expect reaction to 'there's no money' note

David Laws has spoken exclusively to ITV News West Country about the now infamous note he received on his first day at the Treasury from his Labour predecessor saying "there is no money."

See the note here.

The former Chief Secretary to the Treasury said: "I really didn't regard it as a big thing and I only mentioned it almost by accident at a press conference that we held a few days in to the government, not expecting rather naively, the huge reaction that it got."

Watch ITV West Country political correspondent Bob Constantine's report

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