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Featherstone: "Let's talk about scrapping Steve Hilton."

Lib Dem minister on the attack again.

Liberal Democrat equalities minister Lynne Featherstone is rarely afraid to speak her mind. When during a fringe event at last month's Lib Dem conference in Birmingham the BBC's James Lansdale raised the question of the party's dreadful polling, Featherstone shot back: "You're a miserable sod really, James".

And she's is in typically feisty mood in an interview with this morning's Observer. She is critical of advisers around David Cameron who she feels are trying to push family policy in a rightwards direction.

Asked about a suggestion made by the Prime Minister's director of strategy Steve Hilton that the government should consider abolishing maternity pay altogether, Featherstone replied:

Well, I might talk about scrapping Steve Hilton.

Of course, it suits the Liberal Democrats to put some clear blue (yellow?) water between themselves and their coalition partners. But it probably doesn't need to get this personal.