Bri­tish govern­ment hit by fresh rev­e­la­tions of dis­sent

The Pak Banker - - International -

LONDON: Bri­tain's coali­tion govern­ment was hit by fresh ev­i­dence of in­ter­nal ten­sions Thurs­day from a news­pa­per sting that has al­ready caused a ma­jor row over a min­is­ter's un­guarded re­marks about Ru­pert Murdoch.

The Daily Tele­graph pub­lished new re­marks by Lib­eral Democrats serv­ing in Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron's Con­ser­va­tive-led govern­ment, in which they openly ques­tion the premier's sin­cer­ity and say he can­not be trusted.

The min­is­ter for care ser­vices, Paul Burstow, was quoted as say­ing: "I don't want you to trust David Cameron", while lo­cal govern­ment min­is­ter An­drew Stunell said he did not know where Cameron stood on the "sin­cer­ity monitor".

They were speak­ing to un­der­cover re­porters in a news­pa­per sting that has al­ready caught out Lib Dem Busi­ness Sec­re­tary Vince Cable and caused a ma­jor po­lit­i­cal row this week.

Cable told two fe­male re­porters pos­ing as con­stituents that he had "de­clared war" on Murdoch over a bid by the me­dia mogul's News Cor­po­ra­tion to take con­trol of pay TV com­pany BSkyB.

The re­marks emerged as Bri­tish reg­u­la­tors mull the takeover deal, and caused Cameron to re­move Cable from any role in re­view­ing the bid. The prime min­is­ter also stripped him of pow­ers over me­dia, tele­com and broad­cast­ing firms. In the same sting, Cable was also recorded threat­en­ing to "bring the govern­ment down" if the cen­tre-left Lib Dems were forced to com­pro- mise too much with the cen­treright Tories.

Cable is one of the Lib Dems' few well-known per­son­al­i­ties but has also been viewed as one of the coali­tion's un­hap­pi­est mem­bers be­cause of the com­pro­mises his party has been asked to make in power.

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, the deputy prime min­is­ter, has tried to smooth things over, say­ing that Cable's re­marks and any other com­plaints by Lib Dems are a nor­mal part of coali­tion pol­i­tics.

Al­though he said Cable's com­ments were "very un­for­tu­nate", Clegg said: "I think now Vince and the govern­ment can move on and that is the end of it." He added that it was no sur­prise that "there are dif­fer­ences of opin­ion in a coali­tion, as there are in­deed in all gov­ern­ments". -Afp

KIEV: Ukraine's PM Mykola Azarov (L) greets deputies dur­ing a ses­sion of the Ukrainian par­lia­ment. Ukraine's par­lia­ment passed the 2011 bud­get in sec­ond and fi­nal read­ing. -Reuters

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