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Stand off

Tony Blair's promise to bring the Liberal Democrats into the heart of Government policy making does not look like being much of a runner in education.

In the wake of the decision to involve Paddy Ashdown in wider issues than just the reform of the constitution, the leader of the Lib-Dem's education team raised the prospect of a new relationship on education matters. Don Foster was apparently undaunted by the reply from David Blunkett, which went something like "Get lost" but more flat-vowelled.

Since the election, Mr Foster and his team have regarded themselves as the only living Opposition to the Government in the absence of any coherent strategy from the Conservatives . . .

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