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Words: Paul Waugh and Jess Bowie Pictures: Paul Heartfield When the Prime Minister was reshuffling his Government recently, Susan Kramer was nowhere to be found. Far from waiting by the phone, the Liberal Democrat peer was busy ... Continue to article
Vince Cable insisted the Government's austerity drive should be guided by fiscal prudence, not ideological choice. "I’m not in this for ideological reasons – I don’t buy into this stuff about rolling back the state at all, and I don’t th... Continue to article
The Shadow Business Secretary has challenged the independence of a report into RBS, which revealed the bank put good businesses into default in order to seize their assets and make a profit. Chuka Umunna suggested the Tomlinson report wa... Continue to article
Federation of Small Businesses press release Commenting on the additional funding for the Business Bank announced by Nick Clegg and Vince Cable on a visit to small businesses, John Allan, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses... Continue to article
IPPC press release There is “potential for an historic radical coalition after 2015” between the Liberal Democrats and Labour, according to Chris Huhne, writing exclusively in the latest issue of Juncture, the quarterly journal of the th... Continue to article
Vince Cable has defended the Government’s Royal Mail sell-off, explaining there were “major risks” to seeking a higher initial share price. Ministers have come in for heavy criticism for setting the price at 330p after shares subsequent... Continue to article
Vince Cable said Justin Welby's intervention on payday loans had influenced the Government. "I don’t think we ever thought it was “very intrusive” because we’d already given the power to the regulator to introduce loan capping and this i... Continue to article
Chuka Umunna said the Government needed to establish whether or not RBS broke the law by distressing small businesses. "The central allegation in the report is that RBS were systematically [and] artificially distressing businesses with t... Continue to article
Vince Cable said he was confident the evidence against RBS was "solid". "I was appalled by what he said, just explain Lawrence Tomlinson is what we call an entrepreneur in residence, he’s a Yorkshire businessperson who had himself had a ... Continue to article
Vince Cable argued that it was natural that not all businesses set up with a start-up loan would be successful. "Of course what we’re talking about here, a bout a third of the people on the scheme haven’t got a job, they would be unemplo... Continue to article
Prime minister David Cameron, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg and Labour Party leader Ed Miliband attend the launch of a campaign encouraging young people to get involved in community and social schemes Business secretary Vince Cable an... Continue to article
Prime minister David Cameron and business secretary Vince Cable are expected to make an announcement on start up loans Business secretary Vince Cable (16.00) and shadow universities minister Liam Byrne (11.00) speak at the Association of... Continue to article
Labour Party leader Ed Miliband delivers a speech on childcare Downing Street is expected to host a summit with search engine providers on a child abuse block Business secretary Vince Cable speaks at The Work Foundation event in Londo... Continue to article
Words: Paul Waugh Pictures: Paul Heartfield When Mark Francois lays a wreath at the Cenotaph this Sunday, it will be an act of private remembrance as well as public duty. Like many men his age, the recently appointed Minister for the... Continue to article
Over the years, I’ve heard the green agenda described in a number of ways: vote winner, vote loser; niche interest; minority sport; middle class luxury; Lib Dem obsession, even. For a long time, politically-speaking, the environment... Continue to article
Duncan Hames said all central government should pay its workers the living wage. "Ever since the minimum wage was established the low pay commission has had to consider the impact it has on employment. If we opposed the National Minimum ... Continue to article
Chuka Umunna said that Labour's living wage proposal would not transform the economy. "I think, look, we need to transform this economy. Is one policy going to be a panacea? No. But what we have to do is introduce a suite of policies whi... Continue to article
Vince Cable said RBS was well aware of its role in supporting the British economy. "There is new management, it is now much more committed. The decision, which the Treasury supported and I’ve been involved in as well – the decision this... Continue to article
Encouraging economic figures today thanks to @libdems in government #strongereconomy #GDP
Adrian Bailey argued the Government's undervaluation of Royal Mail shares did not bode well for the return of RBS and Lloyds to the private sector. "There are going to be more privatisations in future, and the banks are obviously prime c... Continue to article
The Liberal Democrats have again ruled out the possibility of the controversial ‘Go Home’ advertising campaign being rolled out nationally. Speaking last night on Question Time, Tory Home Office minister Mark Harper said he did not see ... Continue to article
Vince Cable said it was not the Government's role to resolve the Royal Mail industrial dispute. "When it was in public ownership – and, of course, it no longer is – we took the view that this is an arm-length body, it operates comme... Continue to article
Prime minister David Cameron, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, Scottish first minister Alex Salmond, Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones and Northern Ireland first minister Peter Robinson and deputy first minister Martin McGuinness attend a ... Continue to article
Labour Party leader Ed Miliband is expected to announce proposals for a tax on payday loan firms. He is also expected to appoint shadow business minister Stella Creasy to lead a campaign against legal loan sharks Business secretary Vince... Continue to article
Vince Cable said the rocketing Royal Mail share price did not mean the Government had undervalued the company. “You get an enormous amount of froth and speculation in the aftermath of a big IPO of this kind. It is of absolutely no signif... Continue to article
Billy Hayes said Royal Mail did not need to be privatised and said Vince Cable made "one of the most stupidest decisions" on the postal service. "The Government have already promised £200m in dividends next year and £200m after that. Thi... Continue to article
Vince Cable said the sale of Royal Mail shares was "very good news" for the postal service. "It’s very good news for the Royal Mail. It’s now launched with good, long-term investors such as pension funds, it’s got stability, it can now i... Continue to article
Vince Cable will say: When I last spoke about issues concerning pay, my remarks were somewhat overshadowed by an accidental rumpus over the alleged earnings of a well-known boy band, risking the wrath of millions of teenage girls. The c... Continue to article
BREAKING 700,000 people applied for shares in Royal Mail, says Vince Cable, with the retail offering being seven times oversubscribed
MPs on the business committee will investigate the Royal Mail privatisation to check that companies do not profiteer from the sale of shares. Chair and Labour MP Adrian Bailey said his committee would examine the type of companies that p... Continue to article
Labour party press release Chuka Umunna MP, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, has written to Vince Cable to demand answers on warnings that customers, taxpayers and businesses may be significantly short changed from the Royal Mail IPO... Continue to article
COMMONS CHAMBER 11.30am: Welsh questions 12.00 noon: Prime minister’s questions Ten minute rule motion: Coroners and Justice (Amendment) Bill (Paul Beresford, Con, Mole Valley) Main business Motion that the police information ... Continue to article
By David Singleton Top political lobbyists have given their verdict on which leader won party conference season, with Nick Clegg getting the thumps up from senior Tory operators. One of the UK’s best known Tory-supporting lobbyis... Continue to article
Angela Eagle MP, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons and Chair of Labour’s National Policy Forum, in a speech to Labour Party Conference 2013 in Brighton, said: It’s great to be back here in Brighton and to have the chance to meet our t... Continue to article
Vince Cable's announcements have allowed the Lib Dems to make the running on low pay but they still leave an opportunity to set out a tougher approach. Continue to article
Danny Alexander said that the plan to offer free school meals to all infant pupils would help with cost of living and improving educational attainment. “There are two reasons why I think this is a good policy. Firstly, as you say, there ... Continue to article
Quotes courtesy of Andrew Woodcock of the Press Association Nick Clegg said the new policy to give free school meals to all children in reception, year 1 and year 2 would be “good for all families”. “I’m announcing now that we are goi... Continue to article
Q: An underlying argument this week has been it is good to have another coalition after the next election…So, are you saying that I, Nick Clegg, would happily serve as Ed Miliband's deputy? A: Of course I would serve in a Labour/... Continue to article
Brian Binley press release Brian Binley M.P. has called on the Business Secretary to take more time to understand the pressures on small businesses, and support the Government’s welfare reform programme to make work pay. Responding to D... Continue to article
What do the Tories make of Vince Cable’s crackdown on zero hours contracts? Continue to article
Lorely Burt dismissed the suggestion Vince Cable was agitating to destabilise the Coalition by forecasting a "possible" split from the Tories before the next general election. “Well, I don’t think he’s up to anything - I think Vince is V... Continue to article
The Liberal Democrats have backed the retention of the 45p top rate for income tax by a narrow majority at the party's conference in Glasgow. Delegates were almost evenly split on whether to support a move to a higher 50p top rate, with ... Continue to article
Vince Cable attacks his Tory partners in his speech today but has voted for all their measures since 2010. Did he think no one would notice?
Vince Cable said the Liberal Democrats were "equidistant" between Labour and the Conservatives. “In general, we’re equidistant between the other two parties, but we’re perfectly willing to work with other parties in a collaborative way,... Continue to article
Friends. It is a special pleasure to speak to Conference in the city where I had my political baptism of fire. Glasgow is a great city and Glaswegians are warm, hospitable and humorous. But Glasgow has experienced one party, Labour... Continue to article
Vince Cable tells #wato that it’s very important that his party has good relations with both Tories and Labour #ldconf
Vince Cable has warned there are “amber lights flashing” around the sustainability of the economic recovery. In a thinly-veiled attack on the Chancellor and Prime Minister, who claimed the economy was “turning a corner”, the Business Se... Continue to article
The Prime Minister's Official Spokesman said David Cameron's position of the wearing of the veil remained unchanged. The spokesman said: "He believes that we should back schools' right to set their own uniform policy." Asked more gene... Continue to article
The Liberal Democrat conference has overwhelmingly supported a motion from the leadership retaining the Government’s deficit reduction target. Nick Clegg successfully urged delegates not to accept amendment calling for the party to shif... Continue to article
Nick Clegg has fought this morning to play down suggestions of a split with Business Secretary Vince Cable over the “crucial issue” of the economy. Continue to article
New research has found Vince Cable's plan for a Government-backed business bank will need £40bn of taxpayer funding to be successful. A report by the IPPR think tank says that direct Government money for the scheme would be essential, something the Treasury is understood to be against. Tony Dolphin, the IPPR's chief economist, said: "A fully-fledged British investment bank should not be held back by the vagaries of the UK's accounting practices. Its self-financing activities should be excluded from the Government's target fiscal measures and it should be free to raise funds on capital markets."
Vince Cable has indicated improving access to finance for businesses will be a key part of the Government’s new industrial strategy which he will set out in more detail tomorrow.
Speaking in the House of Commons after Labour was granted an Urgent Question, the Business Secretary confirmed the Government was “actively looking” at the possibility of setting up a business bank to improve access to finance.
Other key areas he highlighted were dealing with problems sector-by-sector, improving technology, better skills for workers, and changing public sector procurement.
Dr Cable’s Labour counterpart Chuka Umunna was given the opportunity to scrutinise the plans ahead of the Business Secretary's announcement tomorrow.
Earlier today, the Business Department unveiled plans to exempt thousands of small businesses from health and safety regulations. At least 3,000 regulations, which some businesses have complained are holding them back, are to be removed.
Dr Cable promised the Government would now be "holding departments' feet to the fire to ensure all unnecessary red tape is cut".
Vince Cable has said the Government should ensure the benefits of an "aggressive" monetary policy can be felt in all parts of the economy – a policy which he describes as “plan A+”.
But Downing Street today has played down the idea the idea it is changing its strategy. A spokesperson said: "We have one plan and it is a credible plan."
In a speech to the Centre Forum think tank, the Business Secretary said there was scope for using Government guarantees more ambitiously, while still maintaining fiscal discipline and sticking to the Government's deficit reduction commitments.
He argued the guarantee model could be expanded and scaled up to fund infrastructure - in particular social housing.
Vince Cable is to be given 'quasi-judicial' powers over the proposed merger of defence firms BAE and EADS should the deal go ahead. Dr Cable will be given sole Government power over a move that is becoming increasingly politicised as concerns escalate over the possible national security implications. The Times reports that the merger would trigger an assessment under the Enterprise Act 2002, which requires the Business Secretary to approve mergers involving national security.
A former Tory chief whip has lashed out at George Osborne and David Cameron, saying they are "tacticians" without a strategic vision for the Government.
Lord Ryder, who served as chief whip in John Major's government, accused the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of being "obsessed" with 24 hour news at the expense of the bigger picture.
Responding to claims that Mr Osborne spends too much time focused on political strategy, he said: "He's not a strategist at all, he's a tactician. Both he and Mr Cameron are tacticians and this government lacks a strategist...
"He and Mr Cameron seem to be obsessed with the management of 24 hour news, they're news editors, if you like, news managers, not strategists."
There was better news for Mr Osborne earlier when the head of the OECD gave his backing to the Coalition's austerity measures.
Yesterday's announcement that the UK economy had contracted by 0.7% in Q2 put the pressure on Mr Osborne and led the former Lib Dem Treasury spokesman Lord Oakeshott to joke that he was "doing surprisingly well for a Chancellor on work experience".
But OECD General Secretary José Ángel Gurría defended the Chancellor, saying he should stay the course and was "sowing the seeds of what will be the elements for recovery" and "you have to have credible public finances before you start moving on the growth".
Lord Oakeshott called for Business Secretary Vince Cable to be considered for the role. Mr Cable told the media that while he would "probably" be a good fit for the position, the Chancellor was doing a good job:
"I’m not pushing for the job. We’re part of a team; we have a collectively agreed policy, and I’m delivering on my bit of it, which centres particularly on the area of industrial strategy, and I’m not proposing a radically different approach. I would be building on what George Osborne has already achieved."
Vince Cable has said the Liberal Democrats faced “veiled threats” from News International if the BSkyB takeover was not given the green light.
Giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry, the Business Secretary said he believed the threats about Liberal Democrats' depictions in News International newspapers had come after a conversation with News Corporation lobbyist Frederic Michel.
He also hit out at Mr Michel's “systematic attempt to politicise the process” of adjudicating on the takeover. He confirmed he had been told about this by Liberal Democrat colleagues who had spoken with Mr Michel.
“I’m trying to explain the context in which I made my own comments [to undercover Telegraph journalists]… and what it was that had made me seriously disturbed.”
Dr Cable explained he was in an “emotional frame of mind” when he told two undercover Daily Telegraph reporters he was “waging war” on the Murdoch empire.
“There was a near riot taking place outside my constituency office… in order to prevent the disorder getting out of control, I invited in some of the protestors into my office. We had a very long conversation… I was struggling to keep my temper in this situation…
“I was in an extremely tense and emotional frame of mind. And the two women who I thought were constituents… I did offload onto them a lot of pent-up feeling, to just about the BSkyB case that I was dealing with but my colleagues in Government… in language I wouldn’t usually use.”
Also appearing at Leveson today was Justice Secretary Ken Clarke, who said that the media had "far greater" power than Parliament does.
Mr Clarke urged the inquiry not to curtail free speech, but argued the power of the media “has grown, is excessive, and ought to be diminished”.
05/12/2013 on BBC News
28/11/2013 on IPPR
25/11/2013 on Newsnight, BBC Two
25/11/2013 on Daily Politics, BBC Two
25/11/2013 on Breakfast, BBC News
20/11/2013 on Daybreak, ITV1
Summaries and transcripts from TV and radio
11/12/2013 on Channel 4 News
11/12/2013 on PM, BBC Radio 4
11/12/2013 on Boulton & Co, Sky News