Cameron: We’re coming to get Lamb

PUBLISHED: 06:30 08 October 2012

Prime Minister David Cameron spoke to the EDP from Birmingham yesterday. Stefan Rousseau/PA

Prime Minister David Cameron spoke to the EDP from Birmingham yesterday. Stefan Rousseau/PA

David Cameron has warned Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, one of his own coalition ministers, that Tory footsoldiers will be fighting “very hard” to unseat him in the run up to the 2015 election.

The prime minister made the comments while speaking to the Eastern Daily Press from the first day of the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham yesterday.

The four day event will see the Conservatives try and differentiate themselves from their coalition partners, just as the Liberal Democrats did two weeks ago in Brighton.

Mr Cameron denied there would be any sort of deal between the two parties of government come 2015 and asked if he would be commanding his campaigners in Mr Lamb’s seat to take their “gloves off” he responded: “Of course.”

The prime minister said: “When the election comes we will be fighting for every vote and for every seat. We are two separate parties and, just as we compete in local government elections, when it comes to the general election we’ll be competing very hard.”

Liberal Democrats passed a motion at their conference making it party policy to oppose any further role out of a plan announced by Tory chancellor George Osborne to explore increasing locally-negotiated wages in the public sector.

Currently a public sector worker doing a particular job gets paid the same where ever they are based in the country,

But a move to align state wages with those in the private sector around the country could mean public sector staff in East Anglia taking a pay cut of up to 15pc, the Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates.

In a move that highlights how the issue may become a flash point between the two parties, Mr Cameron yesterday backed locally negotiated pay despite the Lib Dem conference motion.

He said: “What the last government did was look at the idea of highly local pay, particularly in the courts service, and I think, understanding that, there is a case for looking at flexibility within a region.

“Flexibility in pay and allowing institutions to have flexibility in paying and recruiting and retaining people, I think, is where we should be looking.”

He added: “It’s a general point about ‘should you try and encourage institutions throughout the public sector to have greater ability to be flexible about pay locally?’, and I think you should.”

Responding to the comments yesterday Mr Lamb said he would not expect Tories in his area to “stand aside” or collaborate with him.

He added: “We are independent parties. While incumbent we have had a shared agenda in getting the public finances under control and acting in the national interest.

“But at the election we will fight and set out proposals about our intentions that will be different from the Conservatives’.”

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