THE Lib-Con Coalition partners are to embark on an increasingly divergent policy path, the Liberal Democrat leadership has revealed, with the differentiation strategy becoming more intense from as early as this April, more than a year out from the next General Election.

David Laws, the English LibDem Schools Minister, who is overseeing the drafting of his party's manifesto, admitted the process would be "tricky" as it would intensify tensions between the Coalition partners.

It might be difficult for the Coalition to continue any sense of practical cohesive government if the two parties are seen increasingly at odds with each other with more than 12 months to go before the May 2015 poll, but Mr Laws said: "We are proud of what we are doing in coalition but we must be able to say in a very frank and open way where we disagree with the Tories without the entire roof coming in on us. There is a lot of common ground but we are different political parties with our own agenda. We have to set that out in blunt and honest terms."

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