Nick Clegg"s leadership "in trouble", admits his deputy Simon Hughes

Nick Clegg's leadership 'in trouble', admits his deputy as opinion polls show Lib Dems languishing in fourth with just 10% of vote | UPDATED: 12:07 GMT, 17 December 2012 Nick Clegg’s leadership is ‘in trouble’, his deputy admitted yesterday. Simon Hughes spoke out as the Deputy Prime Minister prepared to distance himself from David Cameron with a call to scrap benefits for better off pensioners. Mr Hughes acknowledged that there was growing ‘chatter’ within the party about Mr Clegg’s leadership following months of polls suggesting the Lib Dems will be wiped out at the next election

JAMES FORSYTH: George revs up for a fuel duty freeze (…and no handbrake turns this time!)

JAMES FORSYTH: George revs up for a fuel duty freeze (…and no handbrake turns this time!) | UPDATED: 05:00 GMT, 2 December 2012 Last chance: George Osborne knows this Autumn Statement is the last opportunity to do things voters will feel in their wallets before the next Election Throughout the Coalition negotiations over the Autumn Statement, George Osborne has had two things on his mind. He wants to use the platform he has on Wednesday to show the country that the Government is ‘staying the course’ and ‘we’re still all in this together’.

IFS report: Osborne warned his slow economic growth could mean another SIX years of cuts and VAT rising to 25%

Osborne warned his slow economic growth could mean another SIX years of cuts and VAT rising to 25% Institute for Fiscal Studies delivers alarming assessment of the Chancellor's economic planMore pain to come after growth proved more sluggish than predictedAusterity may have to last until 2018 or impose an extra 23billion of cuts by 2015-16Mr Osborne urged to ditch target for debt to be falling by 2015 | UPDATED: 17:54 GMT, 26 November 2012 Warning: Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has been told he could face having to increase tax and impose more cuts to meet pledges to cut the deficit The era of austerity could last until 2018 and VAT may have to rise to as high as 25 per cent to help plug the hole in the public finances, the Chancellor was warned last night. Economists said that if George Osborne wants to meet his pledge to cut the deficit, he could be forced to announce dramatic tax increases, or impose further cuts. The influential Institute for Fiscal Studies said the continued sluggishness of the economy means the current squeeze on public spending may have to last until 2018.