Lib Dem anger over plan for Cameron to address conference

Senior Lib Dems warn that it “would be madness” for Tory leader to address party conference.

Later this month the Lib Dems and the Tories will hold a joint political cabinet to discuss the upcoming conference season and how to promote the coalition's successes. One proposal doing the rounds is for coalition cabinet members to speak at each other's party conferences, with David Cameron potentially addressing the Lib Dems in Liverpool.

So a report in today's Herald of Lib Dem unease over the plan could be a sign of trouble to come. The paper quotes one senior Lib Dem as saying: "It would be madness and could backfire quite badly. Lib Dems are proud of their distinct identity. They don't want to feel as though they are being swallowed up by the Conservatives."

One shouldn't exagerrate the level of discontent among the Lib Dem grass roots: a new poll for Liberal Democrat Voice finds that party members support every one of the measures in George Osborne's emergency Budget. But it's hard to imagine Cameron receiving a particularly warm welcome in Liverpool.

The conference season should provide space and time for both parties to consider what they've won and lost by forming a coalition government. Inviting Cameron to the Lib Dem gathering would hinder this necessary exercise.

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George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Quiz: Can you identify fake news?

The furore around "fake" news shows no sign of abating. Can you spot what's real and what's not?

Hillary Clinton has spoken out today to warn about the fake news epidemic sweeping the world. Clinton went as far as to say that "lives are at risk" from fake news, the day after Pope Francis compared reading fake news to eating poop. (Side note: with real news like that, who needs the fake stuff?)

The sweeping distrust in fake news has caused some confusion, however, as many are unsure about how to actually tell the reals and the fakes apart. Short from seeing whether the logo will scratch off and asking the man from the market where he got it from, how can you really identify fake news? Take our test to see whether you have all the answers.

 

 

In all seriousness, many claim that identifying fake news is a simple matter of checking the source and disbelieving anything "too good to be true". Unfortunately, however, fake news outlets post real stories too, and real news outlets often slip up and publish the fakes. Use fact-checking websites like Snopes to really get to the bottom of a story, and always do a quick Google before you share anything. 

Amelia Tait is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman.