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Page last updated at 08:55 GMT, Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Lib Dem dissatisfaction 'no surprise'

More Liberal Democrat ministers have been secretly recorded criticising some of the coalition government's policies, a day after the Business Secretary Vince Cable, who had been taped saying that he had "declared war on the Murdoch empire," lost his powers over the media sector.

Political editor Nick Robinson commented that Mr Cable "was sacked from the job of being the minister responsible for ownership of the British media but he was kept in a reduced job, which is Secretary of State for Business except the media, and got a very, very public rebuke.

"There is no doubt in my mind that if he had been a Tory, he would have gone."

The President of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, said that the revelations showed "that Liberal Democrat ministers and MPs have minds of their own" and that members of the coalition worked together in a "collegiate and warm fashion, but we are necessarily very different".

Conservative backbencher John Whittingdale, who chairs the Commons Culture, Media and Sports Committee, said that "the fact that there will be policies that Conservatives aren't very happy with and there will be policies that Liberals aren't very happy with is the reality of a coalition government.

"But as long as we focus on the fact that actually, overall this government is changing things for the better and trying to put right the mess that the country is in then we will accept that that is what has to be done. "

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