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John Major says Labour attacks on Coalition make his blood boil

Tim Montgomerie

Screen shot 2010-12-12 at 09.46.00 Sir John Major was in robust form on this morning's Andrew Marr programme.

John Denham, Labour's spokesman on universities, had been on the couch before him and had relentlessly attacked the Coalition. That makes my blood boil, fumed the former PM. Labour inherited the best economy in Europe but turned it "into a wasteland of debt". They are "thoroughly irresponsible", he said, to attack what are inevitably hard decisions. He paid tribute to the Liberal Democrats. They didn't choose to snipe from the sidelines but they put country first.

He told the Lib Dems to ignore current opinion polls. We are four years from an election, he continued, and if the economic mess is cleared up, the Liberal Democrats will share in the credit for delivering that. If both sides of the Coalition keep their courage and do the right thing he forecast that things will come right for the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats by the time of the next election.

Sir John did not revist his recent suggestion that co-operation between the two parties should continue beyond 2015 but insisted the two parties, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, should remain distinct.

He celebrated the fact that he had won an opt-out from €uro membership for Britain. The northern and southern states of the €urozone weren't compatible, he said, and he forecast a decade of slow growth across the continent as economies adjusted to recent shocks.

And finally... Sir John ended the programme by saying he had only known one politician who had the skin of a rhino and was indifferent to attacks from the media. He wouldn't say who it was but my guess would be Ken Clarke.


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