>The Lib Dems need to find their William Hague

>When David Laws was forced to resign from the Cabinet the loss to both the Liberal Democrats and the coalition was a immense. The Government lost one of it’s greatest economic assets, and the Lib Dems lost their best fixer. The undoubted power house within the Conservative party is Foreign Secretary William Hague, there is no obvious Liberal Democrat equivalent, someone who can really knock heads together and sort through policy differences for the good of their party and the coalition.

Given his experience as Nick Clegg’s Chief of Staff and manifesto overlord, Danny Alexander was the obvious candidate tot fulfil this role, and was all set to do so. However, now he is in the Treasury time is not so available for him to fulfil such role, particularly without the support of Laws in Cabinet. Deputy Chief Whip Alistair Carmichael is clearly not a man to be messed with, and a highly effective operator, but his job is to make sure government policy is passed, not be part of the sausage factory of making it. Nick Clegg’s right-hand-girl Polly Mackenzie is also highly intelligent, and rightly respected, but clearly doesn’t have the authority of office or the media profile William Hague does.

The Liberal Democrats have been, somewhat unfairly, accused of getting little of their policy enacted. If they are being steamrollered on some issues this problem could lie at the heart of it. David Cameron has clearly employed Hague and Oliver Letwin to hold things together, and help the coalition progress on the Conservative side. The idea was presumably that Laws and Alexander, both key in the negotiations, would fulfil a similar role for the Liberal Democrats. This is clearly not happening anymore, and Clegg would do well to fix it as soon as possible to make sure his party continue to build on the initial success his party have had in government.


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