Cable 'happy to talk to Labour'
Vince Cable has admitted he "very, very occasionally" talks with Labour leader Ed Miliband, as he identified himself as a "centre-left" politician.
The Business Secretary responded to Ed Balls' appeals for discussions on the economy by saying he was "very happy" to hold talks, describing this stance as "grown-up" politics.
Mr Balls said he was wanted to hold discussions “today” with “sensible people in the Government”, specifically mentioning Dr Cable and former Justice Secretary Ken Clarke.
The Shadow Chancellor said on the Andrew Marr Show: “Right now I want decent people, who put their country first and are sensible in their thinking to come together and do the right thing and stop undermining the long-term of our economy and our businesses. And I think Vince is one of those people – I could work with him today.”
Dr Cable admitted he came from a similar political viewpoint as many in the Labour party: “I’ve not been embarrassed to describe myself as somebody on the centre-left, in the sense I do believe in fairness and redistribution. But I also believe in having a successful business sector, and competition, a market economy – those two things have got to be married together.”
Writing in today's Sunday Mirror, Mr Balls claims Dr Cable believes, "in his heart of hearts", that the Coalition's economic Plan A is failing. However newly-appointed Business Minister Michael Fallon has insisted Dr Cable is "squarely behind" the Government's plan, and dismissed Mr Balls' comments as "a bit of mischief making".
"I don’t think we need any lessons from Ed Balls on Plan A – they hadn’t got a Plan A, they were the people who left us this enormous mess, the biggest deficit in Europe which we’re dealing with," Mr Fallon told Sky News.