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In a break with their coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats have defended forced marriage.

In a major speech on the subject, David  Cameron announced the government was to make forced marriage illegal.

But Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister, made an impassioned defence of his forced marriage to David Cameron:

The decision we took to enter into marriage with the Conservatives was absolutely the right one. We are not in love with the Tories. The current government is a marriage of necessity.  After decades of scaremongering, we’ve shown that forced marriages are not somehow un-natural or un-British, but simply a different and in many ways better way of doing things.

Privately, Tory party insiders are unsure of the Liberal Democrats commitment. One backbencher said:

Nick Clegg has already admitted to having 30 different partners. How can we be sure he’s not planning to run off with someone else in the future?

A Labour spokesman admitted the party had sometimes been tempted into having a ‘closer relationship‘ with the Liberal Democrats. But now he admitted  the party was happy they had not given in to temptation:

We wouldn’t touch them with a bargepole now….

he said.