By Tim Montgomerie
A report in the Mail on Sunday from James Forsyth notes a new gathering of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats to discuss future prospects for co-operation between the two parties.
James Forsyth asks at the top of his piece: "Are wedding bells ringing in Coalition ears?" The answer to that is "no". I should declare an interest in that I'm part of this group. I'm on record – not least in last Wednesday's Times (£) – for wanting the Conservatives to govern on our own in the future. The group hasn't even met yet and aims, very straightforwardly, to explore areas of possible co-operation in the second half of this parliament.
The group is meeting under the auspices of the Centre Forum think tank.
Members on the Liberal Democrat side include Julian Astle of Centre Forum, Chris Huhne, David Laws and Paul Marshall. There may be one or two more Liberal Democrat members to be added to the group.
On the Conservative side are myself, Greg Clark (the originator of the idea), Daniel Finkelstein, Michael Gove, Sajid Javid and Owen Paterson.
It really isn't a big plot. It is simply a dialogue about policies and ideas.