Page last updated at 14:37 GMT, Thursday, 15 March 2012

Labour seize on Cable's leaked letter remarks

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna has told the Commons he endorses Vince Cable's remarks that the government's economic strategy is "frankly rather piecemeal".

In a private letter to David Cameron and Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat business secretary said the government lacked a "compelling vision of where the country is heading beyond sorting out the fiscal mess".

He also said it does not have a "clear and confident message about how we will earn our living in future".

Raising the matter during questions to Mr Cable and his team on 15 March 2012, Mr Umunna told MPs: "I frankly couldn't have put it better myself."

He reminded the business secretary that David Cameron had said he did not agree with the comments, and asked him to explain why the prime minister "is mistaken".

Vince Cable said he was "delighted" Mr Umunna decided to focus on the issue, claiming the letter had been given to the Labour Party, then publicised.

He told the opposition frontbench the letter made a "very strong case" which "my colleagues in government share".

"I've set out in more detail in a couple of long speeches the need to get behind successful British companies and sectors, the way we're doing through our training, our innovation policy, our support for supply chains and that will happen to a growing degree as we proceed," the business secretary added.


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