Cable happy to work with Tories

Cuts to red tape should be concentrated on complex immigration and tax rules, Business Secretary Vince Cable said as he insisted he was happy to work with new Tory ministerial colleagues.

And he insisted he would not budge in his opposition to "fire at will" employment laws and remained convinced of the need to increase tax on the wealthy.

The strongly pro-business Michael Fallon and Matthew Hancock were both moved into Mr Cable's department in David Cameron's reshuffle - seen as an effort to restrain the senior Liberal Democrat.

Mr Fallon told the Sunday Telegraph he wanted Britain to "salute" wealth creation "and stop thinking of new ways to tax it", scrap 3,000 regulations and make it easier to sack underperforming staff.

Proposals for sweeping away bureaucracy are due to be published tomorrow and a new industrial policy on Tuesday as the Government continued efforts to kick-start its programme.

Mr Cable told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show that he considered Mr Fallon a "very, very able and experienced politician" with whom he could work as well as he had other Conservative colleagues.

"I like working with intelligent people with strong views. It makes politics more interesting. I have got David Willetts who is very, very able and likeable Conservative," he said.

"We work well together. I know I will with the new team."

But he also made clear that he retained strong views in areas that could put them on a collision course.

Asked about Mr Fallon's promised bonfire of regulations, he said it would only happen if it could be done "in a rational way" and without badly downgrading protection for employees and the environment. And he suggested that the main focus should be on immigration and tax.