There was widespread surprise when Jeremy Browne, the Lib Dem Home Office minister, was sacked in the reshuffle and replaced by Norman Baker, the rather odd conspiracy theorist.
Even those who disagree with Browne view him as an effective performer, and plenty of Tories think he is sufficiently small-l liberal to be a natural partner for the Conservatives (as Paul Goodman put it on these pages).
Given that status it was hard to imagine it was David Cameron or Theresa May who sacked him. Instead, it was rumoured that Nick Clegg had him dispatched.
At the time, Browne held his tongue, only saying his sacking was “puzzling” and “painful”.
Today there was another hint of the blame being laid at the feet of the Lib Dem leadership. In a discussion on the way coalitions can see big parties prosper at the expense of their smaller partners, Daily Politics presenter Jo Coburn asked Browne if he was a “victim of coalition shenanigans”. He replied:
“I don’t know if I’m a victim of coalition shenanigans…I suppose I’m sort of a victim of the more senior people in Government”
It would have been easy for him to say yes, or to butter up Lib Dem loyalists by blaming the Tories. Instead he plumped for that answer.
Whoever could he mean?