Coalition Local Government Bill defeated in Lords

A slip-up for the new government. The coalition has suffered its first defeat in the House of Lords. It failed to block a measure that will hold-up its Bill to prevent the creation of new unitary authorities in Norwich, Exeter and Ipswich. The government will undoubtedly be irritated by this result. But there’ll probably also be some relief that the coalition held firm. Just one Lib Dem voted against the coalition government. This is despite Lib Dem support for the new unitary authority in Norwich.

In deciding its response, the government should take its lead from Michael Gove. Earlier in the day he showed exactly how to respond to an embarrassing slip-up.