Nick Clegg hints: no Lords reform, no boundary changes

The FT’s increasingly must-read Kiran Stacey writes of the linkage between House of Lords reform and Parliamentary boundary changes:

Conservative minister, Peter Lilley, … asked why he was so focused on House of Lords reform when there were so many other more important issues to tackle.

Clegg’s response was very telling:

“There are other issues like changing the boundaries which I know are close to his party’s heart…”

The Tories will absolutely hate that. They say the original agreement between the two parties was that they would agree to an AV referendum if the Lib Dems agreed to change constituency boundaries in a way that would benefit the Conservatives. Now the AV referendum has been lost, they complain, Clegg is trying to make supporting the boundary changes contingent on the Tories backing House of Lords reform (which many do not like at all).

UPDATE: And yet, despite these warnings, Conservatives expressed surprise when blocking House of Lords reform did indeed stymie boundary changes.

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