Oakeshott: Lib Dems 'still fighting' in Cabinet for bonus tax
Lord Oakeshott, the Lib Dem Treasury spokesman claimed tonight that in contrast to David Cameron and George Osborne, Vince Cable had personally demanded Barclays boss Bob Diamond take a reduced bonus.
Asked if the business secretary Vince Cable was still fighting to impose limits on bank bonuses, Lord Oakeshott (who does not hold a ministerial position) told Newsnight:
"It's not just Vince it's the Liberal Democrats as a whole: it's an important issue for us. We're not going to go back on it."
Asked whether this was an argument still going on within cabinet Lord Oakeshott said:
"This is going on. This is very topical. We are still very much fighting."
Lord Oakeshott, who arrived on the Newsnight set bearing a copy of the Coalition Agreement later told me that it is still on the table that the government will impose a one-off bonus tax.
Which makes the front pages of every paper this morning - as briefed by Downing Street spin doctors - a little confusing. Because the message coming out of Downing Street could not have been clearer: no bonus tax but an attempt at a voluntary restraint on bonuses.
Labour are already on the blower depicting Oakeshott's move as a tactic to mask capitulation - but if the battle is as intense as it is being portrayed, these could be make or break days for the influence of the Business Secretary, Vince Cable.