The Mail on Sunday* has started running extracts from David Laws’s forthcoming Coalition: The inside story of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition Government, including this:
‘God, Osborne and Cameron really are desperate for power, aren’t they?’ Nick Clegg told me in his cavernous office at 70 Whitehall, with its extensive views of Horse Guards’ Parade, on March 29, 2012.
‘They would sell their mothers to stay in Downing Street. They are petrified of Boris Johnson coming along and challenging them for the leadership.’
Cameron also had a problem with his Education Secretary, Michael Gove. The Prime Minister believed his friend was causing too many rows in government – Gove dominated the conversation during a dinner Clegg had with Cameron in 2013.
Cameron replied to the Deputy Prime Minister’s complaints about Gove by saying: ‘Look, I understand your frustration over this, Nick. Michael does seem to have gone a bit nuts recently. To be honest, I am being driven around the bend by Michael right now. We know he isn’t very popular in the country.’…
Gove’s policy adviser, a grade-A political rottweiler Dominic Cummings (who is now alongside Gove running the campaign for Britain to leave the EU) held Cameron and Clegg in total contempt. Cummings said to me: ‘I don’t like Clegg, but I think Cameron and No 10 are complete muppets as well. They have no idea what they are doing. Cameron hasn’t a clue about education.’
* If you are wondering why so many political books end up being serialised by the Mail despite the lack of political affinity between author and editorial line, this is because it is one of the very few newspapers that is still able and willing to pay a decent sum for serialisation rights.