Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, made clear pulling out of the European Convention on Human Rights completely was still an option being considered by his party.
But a senior Liberal Democrat source made clear this was not something that could happen under the Lib-Con Coalition. "Nick Clegg," he stressed, "has made it very clear that withdrawal from the ECHR or scrapping of the Human Rights Act are simply not on the table while there are Lib Dems round the Cabinet table."
Mr Grayling accepted that the proposed changes to curtail the impact of European human rights legislation on Britain was not something that could be agreed with the Lib Dems.
"Whatever we try to do as a party - because this is not an issue that unites the Coalition - the Conservative Party's intention is to go into the next election with a clear plan for change."