(satire – maybe)
The conflict between the Liberal Democrats and their Conservative Party coalition partners erupted into open warfare last night after the prime minister refused to back down over accusations by the Liberal Democrats that a senior Tory minister cheated at a game of charades during a post-Christmas meeting of the cabinet on Thursday.
The dispute – already being named ‘Charade-Gate’ – considerably worsened yesterday after the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg accused David Cameron of seeking to undermine his authority by publicly backing the Tory energy minister John Hayes who the Liberal Democrat energy secretary Ed Davey claims changed his mind during his turn from miming Free Willy (the film) to miming Moby Dick (the film).
The ‘Charade-Gate’ dispute comes on top of other tensions in the coalition over the Christmas period following accusations by Liberal Democrat cabinet ministers that the chancellor George Osborne ate all the purple-wrapped milk chocolate hazelnuts with caramel Quality Streets without discussing his decision first with his Liberal Democrat counterpart Danny Alexander despite his pivotal role as Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
In a statement to the press, a spokesperson for the Liberal Democrat leader said:
The decision by the prime minister to back his cabinet minister when he has clearly been caught cheating is extremely regrettable and the Liberal Democrats will not allow the Conservatives to ride roughshod over the rules of charades.
This will show that we – as Liberal Democrats – are standing up to and reining in the more extreme and ruthless party-game playing wing of the Tory Party.
Insiders say the dispute may be useful to Clegg who is keen to show the electorate that he and his party are willing and able to stand up to their senior coalition partners in the run-up to the next election especially after the recent damaging revelations that the coalition agreement included a clause allowing Conservative ministers to have first choice over who gets to eat the popular gold-wrapped chocolate toffee finger Quality Streets first.
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