POLITICS

Vince Cable Should Replace George Osborne, Says Lib Dem John Pugh

30/04/2012 12:54

George Osborne should be sacked as chancellor and replaced with Vince Cable, a Lib Dem MP has said.

Southport MP John Pugh suggests that the Lib Dem business secretary be given the keys to Number 11 Downing Street as he has "unmatched faith and confidence amongst the general public and in commercial circles in his ability in matters economic".

Writing for Politics Home, the Lib Dem backbencher who served as a Treasury spokesperson under Cable between 2008-10, said Cable would be the "people's choice" although admitted he was unlikely to be "first on the No.10 dinner party list".

George Osborne has come in for criticism of late and his reputation as a master political strategist damaged following his so-called "omnishambles" Budget.

Pugh writes: "This is not a malicious or frivolous suggestion but a credible course of action, recognising that an effective coalition , good government requires the most talented people to be in the right post at the right time regardless of party."

"His presence in the chancellor's role would undoubtedly dilute the perceived 'chumminess' of the Quad but could helpfully trigger the restoration of genuinely Cabinet government- an outcome not unwelcome in Tory circles.

"Certainly the Quad has proved an erratic mechanism for establishing where the two parties in the Coalition disagree or for that matter agree."

The Quad is the coalition's governing core made up of David Cameron, George Osborne, Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander.

Pugh does accept that the consequence of elevating Cable to the second most powerful job in the government would mean a reduction in the total number of Lib Dem ministers.

Not that there is any chance of it happening of course. And no doubt most Tory MPs will see Pugh's comments as written with precisely the "malicious" and "frivolous" and perhaps mischievous intent he denies.

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