Britain strains coalition by dropping Lords reform

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 13, 2013 2:39 PM
Britain strains coalition by dropping Lords reform

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's junior government partners said on Monday the ruling coalition had entered new territory after they were forced into a humiliating climbdown by Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives over reform of the upper chamber of parliament, the House of Lords.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who leads the Liberal Democrats, said he would not leave the coalition government but that in return his party would not support the Conservatives' planned changes to the boundaries of lawmakers' constituencies.

"The other side of the coalition are unable to deliver their side of the deal on this (Lords reform)," Clegg said of the biggest humiliation for the Liberal Democrats since they agreed to form a coalition with Cameron's Conservatives in 2010.

"We are in slightly new territory," Clegg told reporters.

(Reporting by Tim Castle and Mo Abbas; editing by Stephen Addison)