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The Times: Nick Clegg ready for Ken Clarke to be replaced at Justice

Tim Montgomerie

The Times splashes today with a Populus survey that draws exactly the same conclusions as Lord Ashcroft's recent poll: a massive gap between the governed and governing on crime.

Screen shot 2011-04-12 at 12.33.47 Most newsworthy to me were the two paragraphs at the end of the piece (£) written by Sam Coates, Frances Gibb and Richard Ford. See right.

Two thoughts:

  • Are we happy that Nick Clegg thinks he can block Cabinet appointments? Just as Nick Clegg is pretty much free to replace Vince Cable with David Laws or Norman Lamb shouldn't David Cameron be free to replace Ken Clarke with Greg Clark, Chris Grayling, Damian Green, Nick Herbert or Grant Shapps? He is the Prime Minister after all.
  • Interesting that Ken Clarke is apparently happy to move (to Business). The Times and Ashcroft polls reveal a big gap between the public and Coalition policy on prisons. It's a principal reason why the Big Four centre right newspapers are all offside. The sooner we have a more sensitive minister in that job and a streetwise policy, the better.


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