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Vince Cable too old at 70 to bid for Lib leadership?

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Vince Cable too old at 70 to bid for Lib leadership?

Post  Panda on Sun 12 May - 15:15

Michael Gove: Nick Clegg only blocking our childcare reforms to stop a Vince
Cable coup



Nick Clegg is blocking the Government’s childcare reforms to try and fend
off a leadership challenge from Vince Cable, Michael Gove has claimed.









The Education Secretary said
Nick Clegg is only threatening to veto plans to relax the rules on adult-child
ratios because he needs to “show a bit of leg”. Photo: Eddie
Mulholland






By Peter Dominiczak, Political
Correspondent

10:50AM BST 12 May 2013


187 Comments




The Education Secretary said Mr Clegg is only threatening to veto plans to
relax the rules on adult-child ratios because he needs to “show a bit of leg” to
keep members of his own party happy.


In comments that will create yet another rift in the Coalition, Mr Gove
accused the Deputy Prime Minister of attempting to derail a flagship Government
proposal “because of internal Lib Dem politics”.


Ministers are proposing to relax the rules on the number of children that
childminders and nursery staff are allowed to care for at any one time, in a
reform which Conservatives insist could cut nursery costs by an average of
£1,300 a year without compromising quality.


Mr Clegg said he had major concerns over the proposal, warning that nursery
staff could not cope with looking after up to six two-year-olds at once.



However, Mr Gove said the only reason for Mr Clegg’s opposition is because
Lord Oakeshott, a Lib Dem peer, is attempting to ensure that Mr Cable becomes
the party leader.



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His attack appears designed to cause turmoil in the Lib Dems and will
undermine Mr Clegg's control of his party.

Mr Gove told the BBC's Andrew Marr programme: “I don’t think that we can
understand Nick Clegg’s position without also appreciating the position that
he’s in because of internal Lib Dem politics.

“One of the things that he has to do is he’s got to show, there’s a campaign
being run at the moment being led by Matthew Oakeshott, this Liberal Democrat in
the Lords, to try to destabilise Nick Clegg because Matthew Oakeshott wants
Vince Cable to succeed him.

“And Nick understandably needs to show Lib Dems that he’s fighting hard.”


Mr Gove said that Mr Clegg is a “reasonable guy” and that he believes they
will be able to reach a compromise over the issue.

“Lord Oakeshott is on manoeuvres, he’s trying to promote Vince,” Mr Gove
added. “It’s understandable that within the Lib Dems these things go on.

“Nick has to show a bit of leg as it were on these issues. But we’ve seen
these situations arise in the past and we’ve managed to resolve them in the
national interest.”

From September, the ratio for under-ones had been due to rise from three per
adult to four.

Each adult would be able to look after six two-year-olds instead of four. But
the ratio for three-year-olds would stay at eight or 13 children per adult,
depending on whether a qualified graduate was present.

Mr Gove said that the Government will press ahead with the proposals because
they will ensure that “the cost of childcare will go down”.

Whitehall sources claim the plan to ease the adult-child ratios would save an
average of 12 per cent on annual childcare bills, amounting to £1,329 a year off
the cost of a full time place in a nursery for a two year old in England.

The Department for Education’s economic model indicates that the maximum
possible saving would be 28 per cent, or £3,102 on a full time place.

Mr Gove said that the ratio reforms, which were proposed by education
minister Liz Truss, are “formidable”.

However, he conceded that there may be need to be “an adjustment here of
there” to make the reform work.

A Lib Dem source said: "We appreciate that Michael has ambitions of is own
and is keen to distract attention from his party's divisions on Europe. But he
knows our concerns are based on the overwhelmingly negative response from
experts and parents to the government's consultation.

"Those are concerns a number of Conservatives have expressed in private.
'Nick Clegg will not allow dogma to be put ahead of the interests of Britain's
children, especially when there's no evidence whatsoever that it would reduce
the sky high costs of childcare."

Olly Grender, who worked as Mr Clegg’s deputy director of communications,
confirmed that Mr Cable and his team had made attempts to try and undermine the
Liberal Democrat leader in recent months.

She tweeted: “Can always rely on Gove to lob in a crazy grenade - whatever
he's doing - everyone knows Oakshott [sic] tried everything and failed months
ago.”

Lib Dem sources, however, said Mr Gove's claims about Mr Cable are "utter
nonsense".

Lord Oakeshott used Twitter to deny the claims. He wrote: "Gove... tries
diversion from Cons Europe split with old news - I prefer Cable to Clegg, shock!
But there's no plot-members insist


  • »





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Debt crisis: live

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