Vince Cable ‘occasionally slips his electronic tag’ says Tory

Nov 23, 2012

Business minister Michael Fallon pokes fun at his boss's 'responsible capitalism' stance

Peter Macdiarmid

RIFTS in the coalition government's approach to big business came out in the open last night after Conservative business minister Michael Fallon told the Institute of Directors that Business Secretary Vince Cable sometimes "slips his electronic tag".

Fallon who was sent to the Business Department in David Cameron's autumn reshuffle, was referring to a speech earlier in the day by Cable, in which the Liberal Democrat said regulators ought to force bankers to "act in good faith" and in the interests of their clients.

At the annual Institute of Directors dinner in London last night, The Daily Telegraph reports, Fallon said: "Dr Cable spoke of responsible capitalism. Well, he slips his electronic tag occasionally.

"There is another side to responsible capitalism and that is responsible government. I believe there are limits to government."

The audience applauded Fallon when he said that some politicians were too concerned with "dreaming up new ways of taxing wealth rather than new ways of creating wealth".

Fallon has good reason to aim a jibe at Cable, his boss at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. In September, Cable, who is seen as generally anti-business by many Tories, described Conservatives who want to make it easier to fire employees "headbangers" who "seem to find sacking people an aphrodisiac".

Earlier that month, as he took up his new position as minister for business and enterprise, Fallon said he wanted to relax employment laws so that it would be easier to sack people who are bad at their jobs.

Sign up for our daily newsletter