The deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has dismissed the alleged description of the Liberal Democrat/ Conservative coalition as the “Brokeback Coalition” by the former shadow home secretary David Davis.

Mr Davis who stood against prime minister David Cameron for the leadership of the Conservative Party in 2005, was overheard by a journalist from the Financial Times who claims Mr Davis described the Government as a “Brokeback Coalition” a reference to the gay romance starring the late Heath Ledger. Mr Davis denies making the comments, saying he
was misheard.

David Cameron often jokes that he is in a civil partnership with Mr Clegg. At their Downing Street pre-pride receiption, Mr Cameron introduced Mr Clegg as his civil partner. PinkNews.co.uk dubbed the coalition, a “shot-gun civil partnership.”

Mr Clegg told the BBC: “It is a colourful phrase, but I do not think it really captures the spirit of the coalition, which is two separate parties led by two separate leaders – myself and David Cameron – recognising that this country is facing some very difficult short-term challenges.”

He added: “People across the country at large … are responding very positively to the sight of two parties working together for the long-term benefit of the country.”