The leader of Mr Clegg’s negotiating team, new Scottish Secretary Danny Alexander, said his Conservative counterparts, led by William Hague and George Osborne, produced a list of Mr Cameron’s manifesto pledges and invited the Lib Dems to strike them out.

And Mr Cameron’s controversial policy guru Steve Hilton was reportedly delighted that the coalition had enabled Mr Cameron to ‘bury the Tory Right-wing’.

The disclosure of just how easily – and willingly – the Conservatives surrendered key commitments to Mr Clegg threatens to spark a backlash against the shotgun wedding between the Tories and the Lib Dems…

The Lib Dems seized the chance to scrap some of the policies most cherished by the Tory grassroots – including abandoning their promise to grab back powers from Brussels and not to increase capital gains tax.