Clegg attacked by own party during tax avoidance debate

19 August 2010

Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy PM Nick Clegg was attacked in parliament by members of his own party this week after he pledged to crack down on tax avoidance.

Senior members of the Liberal Democrats are unhappy at David Cameron’s decision to ask Sir Philip Green, a billionaire, to lead a review of Whitehall spending.

It has been reported that Business Secretary and outspoken critic of tax avoidance, Vince Cable, was not consulted about the appointment.

Andrew George, Lib Dem MP for St Ives, expressed anger at having “someone renowned for personal excess lecturing poorly paid public servants on austerity and handing out P45s”.

Mike Hancock, Lib Dem MP for Portsmouth South, said the Government had to tackle spending but he questioned whether Sir Philip “is the right character to do it, and whether he is tarnished by the baggage he brings with him”. He added.

“[These businessmen] are supposed to have the magic bullet. It will be interesting to see what they say in six months’ time.”

This may be a sign of things to come for the party hierarchy as it is expected that the Lib Dems will face much disquiet over their post-election decisions from within party ranks at their upcoming party conference in Liverpool.






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