Every day comes evidence of the demand to set up free schools. Labour seem to be in the middle of a U-Turn on the subject. The incoherence of the Shadow Education Secretary Andy Burnham's current policy (supporting a free school if Peter Hyman is starting it but not if others are) has thus far escaped media scrutiny – although there are merciless Telegraph blog pieces by Toby Young and Katharine Birbalsingh.

But what of the Lib Dems? As part of the Government they support the policy. But as a political party they oppose it – at the last Party Conference they passed a motion attacking free schools. The Education Minister Sarah Teather described Lib Dem councillors choosing never to cooperate with such schools as "illiberal."

A test of what the Lib Dems do in practice will come in Bedford – as the following post from Mark Lehain's speech to the ConservativeHome Local Government Conference on Wednesday shows.