David Davis criticises Lib Dem remarks on Conservative “jihadists”


As reported in The Sunday Express;

“Coalition tensions ­exploded wide open last night as ­Business Secretary Vince ­Cable branded Conservative MPs “jihadists” waging a holy war against Britain’s public spending and public services.

At a fringe Lib Dem conference meeting of the left-wing Social Liberal Forum, Mr ­Cable mocked Tory MPs for behaving like a British version of the right-wing US Republican Tea Party Caucus.

He warned things would come to head when both sides battled it out for dwindling ­resources in the upcoming Spending Review.

An aide to Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg tried to play down the comments saying: “Vince can choose his own words.”

Yet the language angered Tory MPs increasingly embittered by Lib Dem attempts to paint them as the nasty party and themselves as the standard bearers of fairness within the Government. Conservative MPs accused Mr Cable of playing to the ­gallery at a sensitive time for the Coalition.

Senior Tory backbencher Mark Pritchard said: “He is clearly playing to a home ­audience. What is required is joint working by all Coalition ministers. We should all be ­jihadists against the deficit and the national debt.”

Mr Cable was also forced to deny setting out a stall for leadership as he grabbed conference headlines with a series of provocative interviews.

Speaking last night Tory stalwart Sir David Davis said: “What should be a serious ­policy debate is not furthered by insults. The future of this country is at stake. If we get it wrong, we will be saddling future generations with massive debts. Clarity of thought is more important than ferocity of language.”

Criticising the use of the word jihadist, Charlie Elphicke MP said: “This is unreasonably strong language to ­describe a Conservative policy which ­recommends simply we live within our means.”

The warfare escalated after Mr Cable broke ranks on the Coalition’s deficit reduction strategy to call for more spending on infrastructure.

He warned serious damage would be done to British industry if there was no change.

He also called for affluent pensioner perks to be taxed.”