The pressure on the Lib Dems is considerable, but Clegg is playing the long game.
By Ian Dunt
The hatred towards Clegg is magnificent. His deputy PMQs raised more anger than the Budget. Labour MPs despise him. His every word is greeted by a wall of abuse from the opposition benches. And you don't exactly get a sense of love from the Tories behind him either.
The fact that Harriet Harman dedicated most of her response to the Budget to attacking his party speaks volumes. It was pretty colourful stuff. "How could [the Lib Dems] let the Tories so exploit them?" she asked. "Can't they see they are just a fig leaf? The Lib Dem leaders have sacrificed everything they ever stood for to ride in ministerial cars."
The political motive is obvious. Lib-Con divisions are easily the most vulnerable aspect of the government. But the angry response to the Lib Dems' presence on the government benches, especially during as divisive a Budget as yesterday's, is also entirely genuine. Labour and the LibRead More »from Clegg needs to ride the storm