Latest Public Sector News


Recriminations in the wake of AV landslide

Business Secretary Vince Cable has accused his Conservative coalition colleagues of being “ruthless, calculating and thoroughly tribal” in the wake of the landslide ‘No’ vote in the AV referendum.

But “that doesn't mean to say we can't work with them”, Cable added, speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme, insisting that the Coalition will continue in a “businesslike and professional” way.

The final margin was an overwhelming 68% to 32% ‘No’ vote on a 42% turnout, with just ten of the counting areas in the UK coming out in favour of ‘Yes’ – six London boroughs, plus Oxford and Cambridge, and two Scottish seats, Glasgow Kelvin and Edinburgh Central. The English counting areas were coterminous with local authority areas, but in Scotland they matched Parliamentary seats.

Cable said AV was “dead for the foreseeable future”, but said the wider question of electoral reform was not dead, especially as the Lib Dems seek to reform the House of Lords along proportionally-elected lines.

Many commentators have suggested that David Cameron will need to work hard to hold the Coalition together, perhaps granting the Lib Dems concessions over the NHS reforms and the income tax personal allowance.

But others have suggested Cameron, whose stature is seen to have been enhanced by the resounding ‘No’ vote after he got so personally involved in the campaign, can now afford to ignore the Lib Dems. If they pulled out of the Coalition, the vast majority of their MPs could be wiped out in the subsequent general election, as the results of the local elections showed.

Figures in the Conservative and Labour parties suggested that those on the right and left of the Lib Dems respectively should jump ship and join them.

Conservative Bernard Jenkins was among those making that call and said: “The idea that there are going to be some more transactions in this relationship is not going to impress the voters at all…The concessions have been made.”

Labour leader Ed Miliband, meanwhile, told Lib Dem ministers to have the “courage of convictions you went before the electorate with a year ago” and quit the Government.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at [email protected]


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >