Tory MP Rob Wilson says reshuffle shows coalition 'winding down'

Rob Wilson Rob Wilson speaking during a Commons debate last year

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Rob Wilson, the Conservative MP for Reading East, says the reshuffle is "part of the process of the divorce with the Liberal Democrats".

He told BBC Radio Berkshire the coalition was now "winding down" and that David Cameron would not care if Lib Dems were unhappy with the changes.

He sees the partnership with the Lib Dems moving to a "confidence-and-supply" relationship within 18 months.

Mr Wilson said he turned down the offer of a whips job ahead of the reshuffle.

A confidence-and-supply agreement would mean the Lib Dems would back the Conservatives on major votes such as the Budget and no confidence motions, so the government would not fall but they would decide whether to support other policies on a case-by-case basis.

Mr Wilson, elected in 2005, was a ministerial aide to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt until the reshuffle which moved Mr Hunt to Health Secretary.

He told the BBC he had been asked three weeks ago if he wanted to become a government whip but had said no because he did not want to be silenced in Parliament.

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